Steve Nash, CEO of the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI), has presented UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond with his ‘wishlist’ for next week’s Spring Budget. Top of the list is a request for the Chancellor to do more to encourage motorists to adopt new technologies – rather than penalising motorists driving the ‘wrong’ cars.
“The IMI wholeheartedly supports the government’s focus on electric vehicles. 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 Philip 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.