The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) has told MPs on the Government’s Transport Select Committee that the rise of electric vehicles (EV) has presented a “clear need” for road pricing.
BVRLA director of corporate affairs, Toby Poston, this week told the House of Commons Committee that Government needs to start planning for a national road pricing scheme now to ensure a smooth transition from today’s emissions-based motoring tax regime is as smooth as possible.
And Poston insisted that any solution settled upon should be a “cost neutral” replacement for motorists’ current expenditure on VED road tax.
“There is a clear need for a new national road pricing scheme to be developed as more and more zero emission vehicles are seen on UK roads,” he said.
“We are removing fossil fuels from the equation, so the current emissions-based tax system will see revenues plummet.
“Any new road pricing scheme must be easy to pay and have the simple objective of providing a revenue-neutral replacement for fuel duty and Vehicle Excise Duty (VED).
“It should be based on a simple ‘distance driven’ model that considers vehicle weight, emissions and use case, with discounts given to shared mobility solutions – such as car clubs, rental cars, buses and taxis – to incentivise more sustainable travel choices.
“It is imperative that road pricing is considered and trialled now to ensure a smooth transition into a new system.
“Drivers and fleet operators need clarity on future taxation as they make the transition to zero emission road transport.”
Poston was speaking at a transport Select Committee meeting also attended by representatives from the RAC Foundation, the Renewable Energy Association and the Road Haulage Association.
It came in the same week that Government published its Net Zero Strategy, which includes proposals to invest almost £1 billion to smooth the transition to EVs ahead of the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.
Government also revealed plans for a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate forcing manufacturers to sell a certain proportion of electric vehicles (EVs).
The BVRLA has calculated that phasing out of petrol and diesel vehicles puts around £34bn of fuel duty revenue at risk if it maintains its policy of leaving EVs untaxed for their road use.
Industry figures published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) show that more than 650,000 new plug-in cars have been registered in the UK since 2010, and more than one-in-seven cars sold so far in 2021 had a plug.
Last month AM reported on a survey of motorists compiled by Venson Automotive which showed that proposals for an electric vehicle (EV) tax was supported by 38% of motorists.