With the ban on new diesel and petrol cars brought forward to 2035, wednesday’s Budget is the time for the Government to put its money where its mouth is.
There’s no doubt that alternative fuel vehicles are the future, but the motor industry needs support if it’s to hit the goal, said Seán Kemple, Director of Sales at Close Brothers Motor Finance.
“For drivers, it’s time to see mandatory charging points in new build properties, and investment in infrastructure beyond just city centres. Cuts to the plug-in car and van grant are a move in the wrong direction; instead, drivers need to be incentivised to take the leap to a new type of car, especially when cost is a major concern.
“The Government would also do well to rethink the inclusion of hybrid cars in the ban – hybrids are a stepping-stone for many drivers. The right balance of hybrids, small petrol models, and battery electric cars could achieve the carbon targets, without penalising consumers.”
He added, “For dealers, the big question lies in supply, especially in the used market. As demand for affordable used AFVs increases, supply will struggle to keep up. Realistically, it’s business fleets which will fill this gap, so the Government needs to consider which tax incentives and grants will motivate firms to take on the huge costs associated with fleet charging infrastructure.
“The UK has the potential to be a world leader in AFVs, but only if the Government, manufacturers, dealers, and consumers all work together. Rishi Sunak has a chance in this Budget to boost the sector as it recovers from the gloom of Brexit uncertainty – a missed opportunity would do damage for years to come.”