UK launching £400M vehicle charging infrastructure fund; putting extra £100M to support for buying EVs
The UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, presented his Autumn Budget to Parliament. Among the elements in the budget are the launch of a new £400-million (US$530-million) Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund and the provision of an extra £100 million (US$133 million) towards helping people buy battery-electric cars. The government is also committing to electrify 25% of cars in central government department fleets by 2022.
The UK government is investing £200 million in the charging infrastructure fund; the remaining £200 million is to be provided by matching private investment. The government will also make sure all new homes are built with the right cables for electric car charge points.
From April 2018, there will be no benefit-in-kind charge on electricity that employers provide to charge employees’ electric vehicles.
The budget also establishes a £220-million (US$292-million) Clean Air Fund for local areas with the highest air pollution. Local authorities will be able to use this money to help people adapt as steps are taken to reduce air pollution.
Possible ways the money could be spent include reducing the cost of public transport for those on low incomes or modernizing buses with more energy efficient technology.
The money will come from a temporary rise in Company Car Tax and Vehicle Excise Duty on new diesel cars.
A Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) supplement will apply to new diesel cars first registered from 1 April 2018, so that their First-Year Rate will be calculated as if they were in the VED band above. This will not apply to next-generation clean diesels—those which are certified as meeting emissions limits in real driving conditions, known as Real Driving Emissions Step 2 (RDE2) standards.
The existing Company Car Tax diesel supplement will increase from 3% to 4%, with effect from 6 April 2018. This will also apply only to diesel cars which do not meet the Real Driving Emissions Step 2 (RDE2) standards.
The government will continue to support low carbon electricity as it becomes more cost-competitive, including through up to £557 million (US$738 million) for further Contracts for Difference. The government is also committed to keeping energy costs as low as possible. Therefore, in order to protect consumers, the government will not introduce new low carbon electricity levies until the burden of such costs are falling. On the basis of the current forecast, this means there will be no new low carbon electricity levies until 2025.
The UK will also set out rules so that self-driving cars can be tested without a safety operator. The National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) will also launch a new innovation prize to determine how future roadbuilding should adapt to support self-driving cars.