Liz Truss ‘needs to’ review EV support and 2030 petrol and diesel ban

Michael Gove grilled by Hartley-Brewer on car ban cost

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While Liz Truss has only been Prime Minister for a matter of days, she has already had to make huge changes to limit energy bill rises to protect Britons. But as her premiership gets underway, millions of British motorists will be looking at her and her cabinet to implement changes to cut costs for drivers.

There are also a number of upcoming motoring milestones which could still be altered, most prominently the 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars.

Hugo Griffiths, motoring expert and consumer editor at carwow, said the new Prime Minister needs to prioritise a number of things to help drivers.

He added: “The ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars over 2030 and 2035 arguably represents the most significant change to the consumer marketplace since the end of rationing.

“But there remain myriad unanswered questions on this subject, with the affordability of electric cars chief among these. 

“Yet the Government recently cut grants for electric cars, a move that is clearly at odds with encouraging drivers into EVs.”

In March, the Department for Transport committed to a two-year extension of the Plug-In Van and Truck Grants, in a major boost to businesses. 

The move is expected to support the purchase of tens of thousands of greener electric vans and trucks, and will help make the UK less reliant on imports of foreign oil after the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

After the announcement, the threshold to claim the small truck grant of up to £16,000 will be increased from 3.5 tonnes to 4.25 tonnes. 

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Vans up to 4.25 tonnes will be able to claim the large van grant of up to £5,000. 

Despite this, the plug-in car grant was scrapped in June, which allowed drivers to claim up to £1,500 off the price of an electric car with a retail price of under £32,000.

The Government said the scheme has succeeded in creating a mature market for ultra-low emission vehicles.

It helped to increase the sales of fully electric cars from less than 1,000 in 2011 to almost 100,000 in the first five months of 2022 alone.

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Mr Griffiths continued, saying: “If the new Prime Minister is serious about increasing the uptake of electric cars, this decision needs to be reversed.

“A means-tested EV grant could be the fairest, most sensible way to ensure the right people get the right support.

“How the Treasury will replace the £27billion it will lose each year in fuel duty once all cars are electric is another elephant in the room. 

“With road tolls or pay-per-mile charging the only seemingly feasible solutions to plug this gap, public discussions should immediately begin in earnest if motorists are to be brought on board.”

Liz Truss has already hinted at planning a number of changes to the UK’s motoring landscape including ending the rollout of smart motorways and altering the national speed limit.

Speaking before she was announced as Prime Minister, she told attendees of a Conservative Party hustings that smart motorways need to be reviewed.

She added: “All the evidence I have agrees with the point you’re making on smart motorways. 

“On speed limits, again, I’d be prepared to look at that. 

“I can’t give you a precise answer on the points but I do believe that the smart motorways experiment hasn’t worked.” 

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