Just one in 100 car buyers are actively looking at new electric vehicles, despite the Government announcing an investment of over £500m in incentives and infrastructure, according to data released by What Car? magazine.
The motoring magazine’s analysis of new car enquiries found no immediate downturn in consumer interest in diesels since the Chancellor caused mass confusion over the future of cleaner diesels in the Budget. Indeed, almost a third (30%) are still considering the fuel type.
The Chancellor also announced plans to extend the Government’s Plug-In Car Grant to 2020 – the equivalent of a £100 million investment – and a further £400 million to increase electric vehicle charging points. At the same time, the Government intends to increase taxation on new diesel cars from April 2018, unless they meet a new standard called Real Driving Emissions, Step 2 – a certification that does not come into force until 2020, meaning that no new cars will be able to prove they meet it.
“There are some excellent new electric cars on the market this year, with a greater range and shorter charging times than ever, and some very attractive discounts available too,” Steve Huntingford, the Editor of What Car? explained. “But until more people are convinced of the benefits of electric cars, the Government should be trying to encourage people to move into newer, cleaner cars rather than punishing them for doing so with added taxes.
“Right now, it is clear the Government’s strategy to demonise the new, low-CO2 clean diesels – rather than introduce a car scrappage scheme to take older, dirtier diesels off the road and protect the CO2 targets – is not having the impact the Chancellor wanted.”