Car tax updates which scrapped costly benefit in kind rates were introduced at the start of last month as part of a raft of changes. Electric car drivers also benefited from a break on an added £320 charge for those purchasing expensive electric vehicles.
The plug-in grant offered to motorists has been reduced from £3,500 to £3,000 for 2020 but remains for another year despite speculation it may have been cut.
Fiona Howarth, CEO at Octopus Electric Vehicles says the government’s “fantastic initiatives’” had helped encourage the take-up of electric cars since April.
SMMT data released this week revealed two fully-electric cars were the most popular vehicles in the UK over a one month period.
Tesla’s Model 3 topped the standings with almost 700 new car regiataruons over the period, closely followed by the Jaguar I-Pace.
The data reveals electric car sales have fallen by just ten percent during the lockdown while petrol and diesel registaryons dropped by as much as 98 percent.
Ms Howarth said the data may show consumers were “naturally” reaching electric car’s goal before methods to prevent traditional sales come into effect in over a decade’s time.
Speaking to Express.co.uk, she said: “EV sales overtook diesel for the first time last month.”
“With this change we could be seeing consumers naturally reach the goal of what the possible 2032 ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars is trying to achieve.”
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Benefit in kind changes have left upfront electric car costs at similar value to traditional petrol and diesel models to ease people into making the switch.
Experts then hope motorists will be drawn into purchasing an electric car once people realise they can cut down on their vehicle running costs.
Octopus Electric Vehicles has previously claimed motorists could save £7,000 over three years by switching to a fully-electric car.
The group claims recent research has found over two in three motorists are interested in making the switch to an electric vehicle next time around.
A study from DriveElectric backs up this assumption with eight out of ten business workers claiming the new tax benefits had made them likely to switch vehicles.
Ms Howarth told Express.co.uk: “Recent research also revealed that 70% of drivers are interested in making the switch to electric when choosing their next car.
“The government has implemented some fantastic initiatives to encourage EV adoption including reducing the benefit in kind tax down to zero percent for EVs leased through a salary sacrifice scheme like the Go Green Car Scheme, and a £3,000 grant towards eligible electric vehicles.
“There’s never been a better time to join the electric revolution.”
Ms Howarth said the lockdown could also boost interest in electric vehicles and push more drivers towards making a change to their vehicle.
She said drivers were becoming more conscious of the impact vehicles were having on air quality with fully-electric cars playing a key part in the solution.
She told Express.co.uk: “Drivers are becoming more conscious of the impact of their vehicles on the quality of the air they breathe.
“It’s vital that we find long-term ways to keep air pollution levels low when restrictions are eased, and electric vehicles are a key part of this solution.
“Especially for those looking to avoid crowded commutes on public transport while doing their bit to help the environment.”
Published at Thu, 07 May 2020 14:23:00 +0000