The UK government will keep offering subsidies for businesses that invest in electric vehicle charging points until March 2023, Chancellor Philip Hammond has pledged.
The move was announced as part of Monday’s Budget, which also tackled some questions around taxation of vehicles and the WLTP emission certificate.
Under the charge points capital allowance scheme, companies that install charging stations benefit from a first-year tax allowance of up to 100% of the cost of the equipment. The scheme, originally due to expire in spring, has now been extended until 2023, to “help achieve the government’s ambition for the UK to become a world-leader in the ultra-low emission vehicle market”.
In the Budget, the government also revealed it will review the impact of WLTP on Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and company car tax (CCT), reporting its findings in spring 2019. The fleet industry has seen mixed signals from the current government, which earlier this month announced it was abolishing a number of plug-in car grants for buyers of hybrid electric cars, and reducing the value of the only remaining grant from a £4,500 to a £3,500 subsidy.
In a move hailed by the motor industry’s trade bodies, Monday’s Budget froze fuel duty for a ninth successive year. However, accountancy and advisory MHA MacIntyre Hudson criticised the lack of action on diesel supplement for CCT, which rose from 3% to 4% in April of this year.
The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) welcomed the government’s review into WLTP’s impact on fleet. “It is great to hear that the Treasury is making plans to remedy any potential tax distortion caused by the transition to the new WLTP emissions standard in April 2020,” BVRLA chief executive Gerry Keaney.
“It is vital that fleets and company car drivers are able to plan for the future, confident that they are working with more accurate emissions information and a fairer tax regime that rewards those who choose cleaner vehicles.”
However, the BVRLA said it was “dismayed” that the Budget made no reference to the early introduction of a subsidised 2% CCT rate for electric vehicles.