The automotive industry is advocating for the Chancellor to prioritise fair taxation in the upcoming Budget, aiming to reignite the UK’s shift towards electric vehicles (EVs).

New research conducted by Savanta for the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) reveals a growing number of potential EV drivers postponing their switch to battery electric cars. The survey suggests a three-point tax reform plan to accelerate the country’s progress towards net zero emissions.

The decision last September to delay the end-of-sale for new petrol and diesel cars and vans from 2030 to 2035 has influenced nearly one in four drivers (24%) to delay their plans, with 14% indicating they may never make the switch.

Despite the UK being Europe’s second-largest new electric car market by volume, the growth rate has slowed, and EV market share has stabilised. Private retail uptake, particularly since 2022, has declined, accounting for fewer than one in four new EV registrations compared to one in three previously.

The survey highlights the importance of the upcoming Budget in steering the electric transition back on course. The industry proposes measures such as halving VAT on new EVs, treating EVs as essentials in Vehicle Excise Duty rates, and making public charging more affordable.

Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The Chancellor must end the perverse fiscal system that discourages drivers from moving away from fossil fuels and send a clear signal that the time to go electric is now.”

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