An additional £390 million in funding for the support of electric vehicle and self-driving tech adoption in the UK has been announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond, as part of an Autumn Statement that also revealed that the government would be extending the current tax breaks for electric vehicle charge points.
The Autumn Statement referred to the UK’s position with regard to electric vehicles (EVs) and self-driving cars as a “leader” and that the £390 million in new funding was to support the “cutting edge British businesses that are leading the world in disruptive technologies.”
Commenting on the news, the CEO of the popular EV charging solutions firm POD Point, Erik Fairbairn, stated: “The combination of this new investment, and the tax incentive, really is a game changer for our industry, which will essentially fuel the first wave of mass adoption of electric vehicles in the UK. It is exciting to see that the government now clearly recognizes the central role that EVs can, and will play in reducing the environmental impact from transport.”
Notably, the Chancellor also clarified that earlier business tax plans to slash corporation tax to 17% and to extend tax breaks to the North Sea oil and gas industry were being followed through with. Also, plans to “retain the carbon price floor at current levels until at least 2020 will be retained.”
Business Green provides more: “However, in addition to boosting efforts to cut carbon emissions and air pollution from road transport Hammond also announced plans for expanded road-building programs and cancelled the planned fuel duty rise for seventh successive year. Hammond hailed the move as a tax saving for households and businesses of £850 million and the longest period for 40 years in which fuel duty has been frozen. He added that it would save the average driver £130 a year, and the average van driver £350 a year.”
No doubt true, but frozen fuel duty rates also means that there will be more driving than would otherwise be the case.
On that note, Hammond also stated that there would be funding directed for infrastructure improvement, including possible rail upgrades.
A mixed bag altogether, but good news for those working in the electric vehicle industry in the UK.
Images via POD Point
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