The Chancellor of the Exchequer is being urged to stop ‘beating up’ motorists for driving the ‘wrong’ cars, but do more to encourage the adoption of new technologies.
Steve Nash, chief executive of the Institute of the Motor Industry, has sent his spring budget wishlist to Philip Hammond (pictured).
“The IMI wholeheartedly supports the Government’s focus on electric vehicles,” said Nash.
“But we urgently need the Chancellor to allocate some of the millions that’s currently being put to increasing charging points, to supporting the training of motor retailers in being able to maintain and service these vehicles.
“Until this is addressed, insurance and servicing costs will mean electric vehicles stay out of the reach of many drivers and car buyers.
“And that probably means, despite various politicians’ best efforts to deter interest in diesels, these will continue to be seen as the most fuel efficient alternative, keeping them on our roads in significant numbers for decades to come.
“The Government also needs to put its money where its mouth is in respect of electric vehicle subsidies.
“To date Hammond has appeared to be reluctant to guarantee the existing EV subsidies until the end of this parliament. This seems counter-intuitive to the wider commitment to electrics being proposed by Government.
“Indeed, it would surely make sense to actually increase the subsidies and perhaps even extend them to cover the purchase of plug-in hybrid models as well as full EV’s.
“And going a further step, why not extend the subsidy to anyone trading out of a diesel car to a hybrid or electric.”
Joining other voices – including London Mayor Sadiq Khan, in directly addressing the issue of diesel - the IMI is also supporting calls for a scrappage scheme for the oldest diesels – those that pre-date EU5 or EU6 emission standards.
> Budget Day is on Wednesday, March 8. AM will bring you the highlights from Hammond's speech.