Bud­get paves way for EVS and au­ton­omy

Auto Express - - News -

NEW diesel ve­hi­cle tax rates, a boost for the elec­tric car charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture and more au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle tri­als have been an­nounced in the lat­est Bud­get by Chan­cel­lor Philip Ham­mond.

From April next year, new diesel cars that do not meet cur­rent Euro 6 emis­sions stan­dards un­der both lab­o­ra­tory tests and the new, Real Driv­ing Emis­sions (RDE) Step 2 tests, will move up a ve­hi­cle ex­cise duty (VED) band in their first-year fees.

The Trea­sury said this will likely af­fect around two mil­lion diesel cars be­tween April 2018 and 2020, be­fore tech­nol­ogy im­proves emis­sions. Cars like the Ford Fi­esta are ex­pected to cost £20 more to tax af­ter 1 April 2018, while oth­ers, such as the Porsche Cayenne, are es­ti­mated by the Trea­sury to cost an ad­di­tional £500 in first year fees. Also an­nounced was a one per cent rise in the com­pany car tax diesel sup­ple­ment from April 2018 on­wards. The rise from three to four per cent will ap­ply to all diesel cars that fail to meet the RDE Step Two stan­dard af­ter April next year, not just new cars. Vans are ex­empt from the tax hikes.

The Bud­get also con­tained a sig­nif­i­cant boost to pro­mote EVS and au­ton­o­mous tech. An ex­tra £440mil­lion will be made avail­able to im­prove Bri­tain’s charg­ing net­work, while the plug-in car grant is ex­tended by £100m. The Govern­ment also an­nounced sweep­ing new reg­u­la­tory re­forms that will al­low au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle test­ing without a driver present to take place in the UK by 2021.

Ham­mond said: “Our fu­ture ve­hi­cles will be driver­less, but they’ll be elec­tric first, and that’s a change that must come as soon as pos­si­ble for our planet.”

FUEL prices in the UK have reached a three-year high, with petrol now cost­ing 120.2p a litre on av­er­age, while diesel prices have surged to 122.6p per litre.

The AA es­ti­mates the Govern­ment is mak­ing an ex­tra 1.5p per litre – or 80p per tank – from in­creased VAT re­ceipts. The rise in fuel prices fol­lows a rise in the price of crude oil in re­cent months.

AA pres­i­dent Ed­mund King said: “The Of­fice of Bud­get Re­spon­si­bil­ity says fuel duty re­ceipts equate to each UK house­hold pay­ing £1,000 a year in tax. The squeez­ing of UK fam­ily bud­gets has to stop.”

Mean­while, the gap be­tween su­per­mar­ket fuel prices and petro­chem­i­cal brands has grown to a two-year high, with a litre of un­leaded cost­ing 116.4p at su­per­mar­ket pumps in Novem­ber, com­pared to 121.8p at con­ven­tional fore­courts.

Mo­torists in North­ern Ire­land paid the least for petrol, at an av­er­age cost of 118.8p per litre, com­pared to driv­ers in Lon­don, who pay 120.5p for the same amount.

Plug-in mod­els will ben­e­fit from car grant ex­ten­sion, while in­fra­struc­ture gets ad­di­tional in­vest­ment, too

BLACK HOLE Buy­ers bought diesel cars for the tax and en­vi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fits, but could have been mis­led be­cause of a lack of clar­ity about par­tic­u­late emis­sions

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