City Abstract 1

Budget 2020: What it means for EVs

Posted by James: Mar 11, 2020 3 min read

So Rishi Sunak showed impressive oratorical skills on his debut performance at the despatch box. But what did we make of the content of his red box?

Right-on, Rishi!

£500m for “rapid charging hubs”

So the big news is £500m for “rapid charging hubs”. In practice, this is likely earmarked to support OLEV’s “Project Rapid”, looking at high powered en route charging at motorway service areas and other locations along the strategic road network. It is likely to address grid reinforcement costs that are proving a barrier to provision of these chargers at sufficient scale for the high powered requirements of modern EVs.

Interestingly £500m was around the bottom end of the estimate of grid reinforcement costs for the minimum number of sites that National Grid proposed to nix range anxiety forevermore. OLEV’s “Project Rapid” will cover many more sites than these 54, so what they choose to do with this will be interesting. But if they get it right it should definitely help en route charging to end range anxiety in the UK.

Plug-in Vehicle Grants extended

Recently thought to be in potential jeopardy, the Plug-in Vehicle Grants has been extended to 2022/23 with £403m for the Plug-in Grant, while £129.5m provided to extend Plug-in Van, Plug-in Taxi, and Plug-in Motorcycle Grants.

The amount per vehicle will reduce to £3,000 and those EVs with a list price >£50k won’t be eligible.

That this change comes into effect on the same day as its announcement is a little harsh, Rishi! But we appreciate the continued support.

£40k “luxury” VED threshold waived for BEVs

An unexpected bonus here. VED will be waived on all BEVs. The £40k “luxury” threshold introduced in 2017 was a little mean, as BEVs still have higher up front costs, e.g. most Model 3 specs would trigger the threshold.

BiK held at 2% out to 2025

We are hugely excited by what next month’s BiK reductions will do for the company car EV market. And we are equally delighted to see that BiK will be held at 2% from April 2022 out until 2025!

Starting to end red diesel tax relief

Okay, it got watered down so it doesn’t impact many today, but this is an important step on the path to decarbonising industrial and agricultural plant. The government has flexed a lever that they can crank further in future and the direction of travel is clear.

Wrong on this one, Rishi

Melting glaciers with frozen Fuel Duty

Our pals at Carbon Brief did a piece of analysis that showed the decade-long freeze on fuel duty has increased the UK’s carbon emissions by up to 5%. This is a lot. Of course, the government doesn’t want to penalise those reliant on their petrol cars, particularly the lower paid. However, with the recent collapse in oil price it was a golden opportunity to reintroduce increasing duty without having substantive immediate effects on pre-electric drivers.

To accelerate the switch to electric vehicles we need to continually increase disincentives on carbon intensive options and increase incentivisation of cleaner technologies. The government seems to recognise this, but the freeze is inconsistent with their decarbonisation agenda.

An uncertain, Rishi business for the EV chargepoint grants?

Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) and Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) grants

Although they’ve not been specifically mentioned in today’s budget, we are led to believe the EVHS and WCS grants are to be continued. Though the level may be adjusted. Details to follow in the coming days. Stay tuned to this blog for updates.