Over the past few years, several countries have set targets for phasing out conventional gas-powered vehicles in exchange for electric vehicles (“EVs”) as they strive to cut and ultimately eliminate carbon emissions. The UK had initially planned to ban the sale of new internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035, but last year, the government moved the plan to 2030. Although some questioned whether the country would be able to handle such a massive transition within just ten years, the move was praised by environmentalists and green energy groups.
Unfortunately for future EV drivers in the country, those drivers will have to pay more to purchase an electric vehicle after the UK government slashed grants and subsidies for EVs. Coming just two weeks after Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak froze fuel duty, essentially subsidizing petrol and diesel, the move has angered green energy and climate change advocates. While drivers have a variety of affordable gas-powered vehicles to choose from, most electric vehicle models are too expensive for the average consumer.
In most countries with EV targets, governments have tried to make zero-emission electric vehicles more affordable by offering grants, subsidies, and tax rebates to drivers. The UK government initially offered a maximum EV grant of £3,000 ($4,160), which has now been reduced to £2,500 ($3,467), and a price cap of £50,000 ($69,344) for vehicles eligible for the subsidy, which has now been reduced to £35,000 ($48,541). According to the government, it wants to target people who cannot afford electric cars rather than wealthy individuals who are buying premium cars, hence lowering the price cap.
Additionally, cutting down on subsidies would stretch funding out for a longer period of time, thus ensuring more drivers have access to the subsidies. Although authorities would like as many people as possible to switch to zero-emission vehicles, rising costs plague the program, Transport Minister Rachel Maclean says. By targeting cheaper vehicles, which a much larger segment of the market can afford, these subsidies would make more of a difference.
On the other hand, the Shadow Minister for Green Transport Kerry McCarthy is troubled by the move, stating that the government isn’t sending the right signals so soon after it moved the ban of gas-powered vehicles to 2030. Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Traders, also believes the government has made a mistake, sending the wrong message to both the automotive industry and other sectors it interacts with such as oil and private consumers who would have bought an EV with some support.
It would be inaccurate to think that EV makers are banking on government subsidies in the UK and elsewhere to make their vehicles affordable to buyers. As a matter of fact, sector players such as ev Transportation Services Inc. in the North American market, make electric vehicles that are extremely low cost to maintain, and their batteries last for quite a while before needing a top up charge. Acquiring these vehicles is becoming a no-brainer. The technology is evolving at such a fast pace that initial costs are dropping.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to ev Transportation Services Inc. are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/EVTS
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