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Call for Government to drop VAT on electric cars

Motoring journalist Quentin Willson and the RAC will today call for the Government to suspend VAT on electric cars to stimulate consumer demand and encourage investment in the UK’s green automotive industry.

The call is made from Willson’s Drive the Future green motor show held this week at Motorexpo in London’s Canary Wharf.

Drive the Future is a motor show where ordinary motorists can ride and drive in electric, hybrid and high mpg cars, absolutely free.

Willson, who is to chair AM's Used Car Conference in October, said: ‘While the Government gives £5,000 grants for EVs, they’re still far too expensive. Clawing back thousands of pounds of that grant in VAT isn’t helping. We need to create demand among consumers and confidence for investors.

"The UK must lead the World in green car technology before the Chinese beat us to it.’

Suspending VAT on electric car sales would reduce some showroom prices by as much as £5,000 and bring the cost of EVs closer to conventional cars.

So far this year 500 EVs have been sold in the UK and this number needs to rise significantly to develop the EV industry, he said.

He added that if the Government is really behind de-carbonising road transport, suspending VAT would send a clear signal to buyers, car makers and investors that new tech cars aren’t just a remarkable, but temporary, experiment.

Adrian Tink, strategist at the RAC, said: ‘This is about making green cars more affordable, creating jobs, cleaning our air and giving drivers’ confidence to make more fuel-efficient car-buying choices. The RAC strongly support this call for action.’

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