How Will the UK Budget Affect Fuel?
Dec 11 2017 Read 574 Times
From electric vehicles to self-driving cars, there are big transport changes on the horizon. The latest budget announcement from the British Treasury proves that the EV era is well underway, with Chancellor Philip Hammond confirming that the development of a national EV charging network will take centre stage.
Currently there are around 115,000 electric cars on British roads. This number is expected to increase to 20 million by 2040, with the government recently announcing plans to phase out petrol and diesel-powered vehicles. While EV drivers are currently serviced by around 13,000 charging points, a healthy £340 million investment in the development of a national charging network will help to drastically increase the figure.
The arrival of the EV era
For the fuel industry the new budget will trigger big changes. Experts predict that EV-friendly laws will soon force members of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) to install electric charging points alongside petrol pumps. This goes hand in hand with big infrastructure expenses, and PRA representatives have been candid in suggesting that a portion of the £400 million EV charging fund should be reserved for petrol retailers.
“If the government insists on mandating EV charging equipment upon retailers, they must be prepared share some of the financial burden,” reads a statement issued by the Petrol Retailers Association.
Phasing out diesel
The budget will also see new diesel cars shifted into a higher tax band. The move has received widespread praise from environmental campaigners, with Dr Penny Woods of the British Lung Foundation maintaining that “Increasing tax on new diesel cars sends a clear message that diesel is toxic.” Drivers will also be hit with a 1% rise in company car tax for diesel vehicles, with profits used to fund the UK's £220 million clean air fund.
For diesel drivers this could usher in higher pump prices, with Hammond revealing that fuel duty on diesel will increase by 1p a litre. Fuel duties have been frozen at 57.95p since January 2011, which means this will be the first increase in seven years.
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