If you can’t stand soaring fuel prices – buy an electric car! That was the stark message from former Transport Secretary Philip Hammond, after Auto Express quizzed him on his plans to reduce pump prices.
Hammond, who had been speaking at the launch of POLAR, a privately funded network of electric charge points run by Chargemaster, had just told guests: “You can’t force people out of their cars or place drivers on the naughty step, as our predecessors did.”
But when Auto Express suggested prohibitive fuel prices appeared to be doing exactly that, he shirked responsibility and instead blamed oil suppliers: “The increase in fuel prices is a function of global oil prices, it’s not driven by policy.”
Motorists currently pay 80 pence in tax for every litre of petrol they buy, according to the AA, meaning almost 60 per cent of your fuel bill goes straight to the Treasury.
When Auto Express asked Hammond what the Government intended to do to help reduce fuel prices, he suggested that motorists switch to electric cars. “People should look to new technologies. Electric cars are very cheap to run and allow motorists to drive guilt free.”
He admitted electric cars were currently expensive to buy – the Nissan Leaf costs £25,000 even after the Government’s £5,000 grant - but added: “Production costs will come down, and then you won’t have the high cost of fuel attached either.”