Labour has pledged to remove the £320 VED surcharge for electric vehicles costing over £40,000 and has also promised to pay for workplace electric vehicle charging points for fleets that plan to go all-electric by 2025.
The party said that with these adjustments, electric vehicles could help company car drivers save £7,400 over a typical three-year lease.
It said it would remove the five- year VED surcharge on EVs for cars purchased in 2020/21 and 2021/22 “to incentivise purchase and bring forward planned purchases” adding its funding of workplace charging points would “reduce range anxiety for business vehicles and resolve companies’ concerns over efficiently charging their vehicles.”
Labour also confirmed if it wins the next General Election it would make the entire Government fleet electric by 2025.
Shadow BEIS Secretary, Rebecca Long Bailey, said: “Tackling the climate emergency provides an opportunity to upgrade our economy and way of life. Instead of driving old polluting cars, we want ordinary people to have the ability to drive new, clean and green cars. The air in our cities will be cleaner and the UK’s carbon emissions will be lower. Increased demand for electric cars will also give a much needed boost to our automobile industry, creating thousands of new jobs.”
Elsewhere at its annual conference in Brighton, the party pledged to invest £3.6 billion to expand the UK’s electric vehicle charging network and said the network would consist of ‘en-route’ ultra-fast charge stations along motorways and a mixture of ‘about town’ rapid and ultra-fast charging stations in more urban environments.
It said the investment “will eliminate concerns over driving range and lack of electric car charging infrastructure” by providing enough electric charge points for 21.5 million electric cars – 65% of the UK’s fleet – by 2030, doubling the number of electric cars that the Conservatives are planning for by 2030.
“Labour is ready to jumpstart an electric car revolution. We will roll out electric vehicle charging infrastructure to every city, town and village, and along our motorways,” Long Bailey added.
In addition, it said it would create a publicly-owned alternatives to car-sharing giant Zipcar and take on 30,000 EVs which can be hired through an app.
It said its Community Car Clubs will be owned and operated by local authorities with a national car club being formed in order to procure “domestically-built electric cars to support local manufacturing” in order to reduce costs.
Finally, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell announced Labour would introduce 2.5 million interest free loans for the purchase of electric cars.
Based on the model in Scotland – which offers private motorists interest-free loans of up to £35,000 – it said the loans of up to £33,000 “will allow low to income households, those living in rural areas and independent contractors and SMEs to save on new electric cars” with the Government will covering the £1,500 cost of interest on a loan
However, unlike the Scottish model, McDonnell said in order to qualify for loans, participation will be required in a mass trial of Vehicle-2-Grid technology “which will allow the UK to transition to renewable energy.”
McDonnell said: “This will stimulate the automotive industry, it will sustain jobs in the conversion from fossil fuels to electric but actually it will create new jobs as well. This is beneficial in terms of the climate and it is beneficial for those people who want to convert their carbon-fuel powered car into an electric vehicle that is sustainable. At same time it will help support the automotive industry and create jobs. Those jobs are in areas where we have had real issues, particularly with Brexit.”