With a bit of help from the globalist car manufacturers
Elon Musk and Tesla are aggressively lobbying the UK government for a tax incentive to buy his electric cars. The electric car maker’s appeal to the government said grants for battery powered cars could be made ‘revenue-neutral’ (whatever that means).
The company told the UK government that making fossil-fuelled cars pay for the damage they do to the environment was ‘entirely reasonable and logical’. Tesla lobbing of the UK government to raise taxes on petrol and diesel cars would fund bigger subsidies for electric vehicles, alongside a ban on hybrids.
The US electric car pioneer called for a rise in fuel duty and a charge on petrol and diesel car purchases to pay for grants and tax breaks such as a VAT exemption for battery-powered cars,
The proposals would theoretically add thousands of pounds to the cost of a new petrol or diesel car, while simultaneously making electric cars initially cheaper. (That doesn’t mean the prices won’t rise exponentially once there are no more petrol or diesel cars left.)
“Supporting zero-emissions vehicle uptake via mechanisms to make new fossil-fuelled cars pay for the damage they cause is entirely reasonable and logical,” Tesla wrote in a submission in July last year. Higher taxes on fossil fuels are seen by many environmental campaigners as a key part of tackling the climate crisis. In reality the climate impact is just being moved from the road to power stations. Already the National Grid is close to capacity.
In the UK the Conservative government has frozen fuel duty for 11 years, a subsidy for petrol and diesel that has been worth more than £50Bn, so there is obviously a gap in revenue there.
Tesla’s position would be in line with the UK’s Committee on Climate Change, which said hybrids should be banned in 2032.
Other proposals included paying people to switch away from older polluting vehicles, tax breaks for corporate car users, and a “charging promise” that the government would install chargers on any street in the UK when requested.
And its not only Tesla who are following this course. The entire electric vehicle (EV) world looks at Europe as the “holy grail” of electric vehicles the continent is buying EVs at a record pace. But that euphoria, fuelled by subsidies and dozens of new choices, may be short lived.
Europe’s share of global EV sales doubled to 43% last year, while at the same time China and the U.S. saw market share decline, as reported here
Plug-in EV sales in Europe were up 137% to 1.4 million vehicles last year, outripping China’s 12% . In the U.S., sales rose a measly 4%.
But these sales have been helped, along with lobbying by the likes of Elon Musk, by government incentives and analysts are starting to warn that the momentum could be short lived when these subsidies dry up. The surge was also helped along by The European Union tightening emission requirements.
Without government incentives, EVs become “considerably more expensive” than traditional vehicles, but the big hitters in the car manufacturing sector don’t appear to be taking a long view on this. Quite the opposite in fact. They seem to be siding with Tesla.
Arndt Ellinghorst, auto analyst at Bernstein Research, said“The market is extremely sensitive to government and company discounts. Once subsidies are taken away EV sales will collapse by 30-40% at least for one or two quarters.” Hakan Samuelsson, CEO of Volvo Cars, said: “We have an incentive to build these cars…It helps make the EV very attractive for the consumer. But long term these incentives and tax breaks are not sustainable.”
BMW, Mercedes and Audi are all launching high end EVs. There were about 65 new models total launched in Europe last year. This is twice as many as were launched in China. This year, 99 new models are plannedto be released.
But how much longer the government can keep writing cheques to ensure environmental compliance remains to be seen. The virtue signalling tax incentives won’t last forever, especially when the cost of furlough, a collapsing economy and the ever expanding drain of the NHS ‘free for all’ vaccination and a national struggling Intensive Care Departments that were on the brink of collapse six months ago.
Main image S Hermann F Richter