'EV grant cut is a real kick in the teeth for car buyers and makers'

The slashing of the EV and PHEV grant will have consequences for the electric car market, says Steve Fowler

OPINION EV_Grant_Slash

As we were going to press with this issue, news filtered through that the Government was axing some of the incentives that have been in place to encourage us to buy more environmentally friendly cars.

You can read the full story in this weeks magazine and online, but my overriding emotion right now is one of deep sadness. We’ve long thought that our government – both national and local – doesn’t understand cars, car buyers or the car industry. But now I’m convinced that it just doesn’t care.

• Best electric cars to buy 2018

In the week that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) made a stark warning on global warming (which we should all heed), our Government chooses to reduce incentives on cars that help to solve that very problem.That makes the announcement’s timing all the more bizarre.

What with dithering over Brexit and doing its best to demonise diesel, the Government is doing a fine job of dampening consumer confidence.And if people aren’t buying cars, the car industry doesn’t have the revenue needed to invest in the tech that will bring cleaner models to market. 

The UK, like every country around the world, has clear targets on reducing emissions to help slow global warming. Nobody can deny that’s an important goal – for us and future generations.

For many years, the Government thought the right way of doing that was to give us financial incentives to buy diesels. And a scrappage scheme took older, more polluting cars off the road.

So it’s clear that if you want people to drive cars with the latest tech that will help reduce emissions, you have to incentivise them to do so. Always have, always will. This latest decision is plain wrong, a backward step and needs reversing urgently.

Read more about the EV and PHEV grant cuts here...

Editor-in-chief

Steve Fowler has been editor-in-chief of Auto Express since 2011 and is responsible for all editorial content across the website and magazine. He has previously edited What Car?, Autocar and What Hi-Fi? and has been writing about cars for the best part of 30 years. 

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