Chancellor of the exchequer Phillip Hammond yesterday committed further government funding to electric car uptake and infrastructure.

In the Autumn Budget, he outlined the creation of a £400 million fund to boost the number of UK roadside chargers. The fund will mainly go to electric car charging companies to help them upgrade their current networks.

He also outlined that the current £4,500 electric car grant would be continued until 2020 to encourage motorists to get behind the wheel of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, giving an additional £100 million alone to be spent on this area.

Company car drivers who charge their vehicles at their workplace will also be able to get a tax break from next year, according to the proposals.

It comes after the chancellor outlined an increased tax on new diesel vehicles – a move that had been speculated beforehand.

New diesel cars sold from April 1, 2018 that fail to comply with Real Driving Emissions step two (RDE2) standards will have to pay an increased amount of tax. This is despite the fact that new diesel vehicles won’t actually have to legally comply with these standards until 2020.

Diesel vehicles that fail to meet the standard will have to pay tax for a band above what they currently pay. For low-emission diesels, this can be as little as £20 extra in the first year, but for heavily polluting vehicles, it could cost as much as £500 extra.

David Martell, chief executive of Chargemaster, the UK’s largest charging network provider, said: “The package of support announced by the chancellor is good news for the EV sector. We welcome the continued incentives for electric car purchases through the plug-in car grant.”

“We hope that some of this funding will be directed towards preparing network connections and reinforcing the electricity grid where required.”

To learn more about electric cars, check out our dedicated hub.

Ted Welford


November 23, 2017