Vauxhall Managing Director pens an open letter criticising the UK government’s Spring Budget for lack of EV incentives

  • Vauxhall Managing Director, James Taylor, criticises the UK government’s Spring Budget for lacking EV incentives.
  • Vauxhall proposes VAT reduction and fairer charging, with fewer barriers for installation.
  • Taylor urges streamlined infrastructure for EV transition leadership to accelerate adoption.

James Taylor, Managing Director of Vauxhall, has released an open letter calling on the UK government to revise its EV adoption incentives 

In an open letter to Rishi Sunak, James Taylor, Managing Director of Vauxhall, has conveyed the concerns over the UK government’s Spring Budget. Taylor expressed disappointment at the lack of measures to promote electric vehicle (EV) adoption among private buyers. This is the second open letter from the UK automotive industry asking for greater support.

The letter underscores the urgency of the situation, emphasising that the path cannot be traversed alone. Taylor highlighted a stark reality: the current market dynamics heavily favour company car and business owners, leaving private buyers in the lurch due to a lack of incentives for EV purchases.

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Taylor stated: 

“That is an issue if 52 per cent of all cars sold in the UK are to be electric in just over four years, 80 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035.

The market is being driven by company car and business owners who benefit from very strong tax incentives to buy electric.

We are fully behind supporting people to do the right thing.

But, the question to ask is whether it is right to still support someone with tens of thousands of savings in tax when buying a £100,000 luxury electric car, when the average private buyer gets nothing?”

Vauxhall is endeavouring to make EVs more accessible. The manufacturer’s recent efforts include its charging partnership with Tesco, and the Electric Streets of Britain charging initiative.

Taylor stresses the need for broader policy reforms. He advocates for a redistribution of incentives to prioritise smaller and family EVs, making them more affordable for the average consumer.

Key among Taylor’s proposals is the reduction of VAT on electric cars, a move that could significantly lower the barrier to entry for private buyers. Additionally, he calls for fairer charging costs, suggesting a tiered VAT system that favours home charging over public charging.

Taylor continued:

“What is going to make a difference and put the spark back into the transition to EVs?

Make the switch as financially obvious for a private driver as it is for a company car driver (like in many other European countries) and reduce VAT on electric cars to ten per cent.

This would immediately cut around £3,000 off a small EV, like the Corsa, and at least £4,000 off a family electric car, like the Astra.

Make charging costs fairer — if you have a drive and charge at home, you pay five per cent VAT on electricity.

If you can only charge in public, then it is 20 per cent. That’s wrong.

We need to remove the red tape that is slowing down the councils and companies trying to install even more chargers, even faster.”

Streamlining charging infrastructure installation is also essential. By removing planning permission barriers, Taylor believes that confidence in EV adoption will soar, driving the country towards a greener automotive future.

Taylor’s open letter serves as a clarion call to action, urging policymakers to rethink their approach to EV incentives and charging infrastructure. With the right reforms in place, Britain can reclaim its position as a leader in the transition to cleaner motoring, benefiting both the environment and the economy.

Check out the UK automotive industry’s response to the Spring Budget, here.

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