BVRLA urges take up of EVs

The BVRLA has urged the chancellor to energise the take up of plug-in electric vehicles and support the role played by the company car.

In September, the Prime Minister used the inaugural Zero Emission Vehicle Summit in Birmingham to launch her bid for the UK to become a global centre of excellence for electric vehicles.

Responsible for more nearly 50% of annual car, van and truck registrations, BVRLA members are adopting plug-in vehicles, with more than 50,000 on fleet. The government risks losing this zero-emission momentum unless it can deliver a fairer and well-signposted Company Car Tax (CCT) regime.

Its current plans would see the CCT benefit-in-kind (BIK) rate for electric company cars increase to 16% in April 2019 before dropping to two per cent the year after.

By bringing forward the two per cent CCT rate for zero emission vehicles, the government could provide a much-needed stimulus to the electric vehicle market, claims the BVRLA.

Plug-in vehicles are not yet appropriate for all trips and the BVRLA is also calling for the treasury to support the use of low-emission petrol and diesel company cars.

The association has asked the government to address the introduction of the new WLTP (Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure) emission standard, which could see some CCT BIK rates increase by as much as 30%.

‘Large numbers of people that used to get a company car as a perk or employee benefit are now opting out because of the rising tax cost. They are taking cash instead and the evidence suggests that they are spending this on older and more polluting vehicles,’ said BVRLA chief executive, Gerry Keaney.

‘It is vitally important that the chancellor seizes this tremendous opportunity to support the future of the company car by using this month’s budget to rein in these unhelpful tax hikes.’

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