According to recent reports from England, UK lawmakers are reportedly reassessing the government’s present EV tax incentive schemes and debating their continuation. Under the current incentive scheme, introduced two years ago, buyers of new electric vehicles in the UK received a £5,000 subsidy in an effort to drive massive public adoption of emission-less vehicles in the lead up to the 2050 goal of ridding UK roads of nearly all non-clean vehicles. This subsidy policy came under renewed debate following a September, 2012 report from the Commons Transport Select  Committee which concluded that the majority of the £11 million of subsidy funds had gone towards enabling rich families to purchase a second vehicle.  The report included statements from industry experts who argued that the subsidy had been unsuccessful in actually changing the general belief that electric vehicles remained far too expensive to truly be considered as plausible alternatives to traditional, gas-fueled cars.

Drawing from these conclusions, government ministers have seemingly drawn the conclusion that rather than increasing the size of the present subsidy package they would instead scrap it altogether. A move to restrict incentive policies would be a notable change of direction for the UK government which has shown a strong commitment to greening transportation, devoting a total of £500 million to the development of green vehicles between 2015-2020. In addition to the £11 million already spent on the subsidy policy and a nationwide network of public charging points, totaling 1,600 points, the government had originally planned on setting aside a total of £30 million for subsidies.

News of these developments gave rise to an expected outcry from researchers, including the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) which determined that entirely removing tax incentives would come as a major blow to electric car manufacturers and set back the pace of EV adoption notably. While it remains unclear what the precise allocation of the £500 million support package will ultimately be, ministers reassured the public claiming to be fully committed to developing green transport along an ambitious yet “realistic” vision.

Source: Daily Mail article 

Read more: Commons Transport Select Committee report from September, 2012 

Transport Research Laboratory report 

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