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Dear Rishi, EVs are still too expensive & Brits will only start buying them if you do 3 things says Vauxhall boss

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As electric car sales plummet in the UK James Taylor, Managing Director of Vauxhall, has penned an open letter addressed to UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak outlining crucial steps to reinvigorate the electric car market in the UK.

In his letter published in The Sun, Taylor highlights a pivotal concern: the delay in transitioning to electric vehicles following the postponement of the ban on new petrol and diesel cars until 2035. Despite governmental mandates mandating increasing quotas for electric car sales, from one in five this year to four in five by 2030, Taylor underscores a stagnation in consumer adoption.

Acknowledging the Government’s commitment to zero emissions motoring, Taylor stresses the necessity for collaborative action. He points out the lack of incentives suffocating private sales of electric vehicles resulting in the UK now lagging behind its European counterparts in sustainable motoring practices.

Taylor presents three key proposals to ignite the transition to EVs: reducing VAT on electric cars to ten percent, making charging costs more equitable, and streamlining bureaucratic processes hindering the installation of charging infrastructure.

Dear Rishi,

I’m writing on behalf of millions of British motorists. The family car buyer. The small car driver.

I’ve got to be honest, last week’s Budget was disappointing for them, and for the uptake of electric vehicles.

You have rightly set out the path to zero emissions motoring, something Vauxhall is fully behind.

The trouble is we can’t do it alone. The new car market reflects that.

A lack of incentives is suffocating private sales of electric vehicles.

Continued inaction risks a “them and us”. Between those that can afford or, like company car drivers, are incentivised to do so, and those that can’t.

It risks the country falling behind the rest of Europe in the switch to cleaner motoring.

The simple truth is, for the moment, electric vehicles are more expensive to manufacture, and therefore buy.

Combined with the cost-of-living crisis and inflation pressures, many people who drive popular small and family cars can’t afford to make the switch.

That is an issue if 52 per cent of all cars sold in the UK are to be electric in just over four years, 80 per cent by 2030 and 100 per cent by 2035.

The market is being driven by company car and business owners who benefit from very strong tax incentives to buy electric.

We are fully behind supporting people to do the right thing.

But, the question to ask is whether it is right to still support someone with tens of thousands of savings in tax when buying a £100,000 luxury electric car, when the average private buyer gets nothing?

Imagine if those incentives were distributed differently and used to support sales of small and family electric cars to private buyers?

The more affordable the electric cars we sell today means even more Brits will be able to buy used versions tomorrow. That’s how it works.

As I said, we are doing our bit. And some.

We are working hard to make electric cars as affordable as possible.

The new Corsa Electric YES Edition is one of the UK’s most affordable five-door electric cars.

There are generous finance offers across the range. Plus, we are offering a year’s free charging at Tesco sites nationwide.

We are giving people choice. By the end of the year, we will have an electric version of every car and van in our range.

By 2030, we will have halved our carbon footprint and be net zero by 2038.

We are also proudly helping Britain’s businesses to go green by supplying electric vans from our factories in Ellesmere Port and Luton.

We are supporting the 40 per cent of Brits who don’t have a driveway to charge at home with our electricstreets.co.uk campaign.

Together with our partners, we are helping councils install on-street chargers where people want them no matter what car you drive.

So, what is going to make a difference and put the spark back into the transition to EVs?

Make the switch as financially obvious for a private driver as it is for a company car driver (like in many other European countries) and reduce VAT on electric cars to ten per cent.

This would immediately cut around £3,000 off a small EV, like the Corsa, and at least £4,000 off a family electric car, like the Astra.

Make charging costs fairer — if you have a drive and charge at home, you pay five per cent VAT on electricity.

If you can only charge in public, then it is 20 per cent. That’s wrong.

We need to remove the red tape that is slowing down the councils and companies trying to install even more chargers, even faster.

Things like quicker planning permission and access to the grid. The sooner people see more chargers, the sooner they will be more confident to switch.

Everything is there for us to do it. You can see we are doing our part.

With a bit of a rethink on some of your policies, I know we can get Britain back in the fast lane on the road to cleaner motoring.

Yours sincerely,James TaylorManaging Director, Vauxhall

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