In a bid to plug tax revenue losses as a result of the UK’s electric vehicle (EV) transition, MPs on the Transport Committee are urging the Government to consider introducing a ‘pay-as-you-drive’ scheme using telematics technology1. However, according to research by Venson Automotive Solutions, this proposal does not win favour with motorists. Only 22% of motorists it surveyed agreed with its introduction, whilst 38% backed the introduction of a specific EV tax.
The Venson survey2 asked motorists which options they would support if the Treasury were to propose them. A specific EV tax that is applied to a vehicle was the most popular option (38%), followed by the introduction of charges at currently free public EV charging points (32%). A ‘Road Miles’ system, not dissimilar to a ‘pay-as-you-drive’ scheme, which would see motorists who exceed a set annual mileage pay a per-mile premium (31%), was the third.
The impact the fleet sector is having on EV take-up has not gone unnoticed by motorists. One in four (27%) believe that a specific EV ‘business use’ charge should be introduced, payable by businesses operating EV fleets not drivers.
Alison Bell, Operations Director at Venson Automotive Solutions comments, “With the ban on the purchase of new petrol or diesel vehicles coming into force from 2030, followed by a ban on hybrid vehicles from 2035, the UK Government has very little time to introduce a fair and cost-effective nationwide solution to recoup the lost taxes. Our research clearly shows that a pay-as-you drive system is not what motorists want, but they are not averse to an alternative, such as a specific EV related tax.”
Road pricing schemes3 are not a new idea. Back in 2005 the then Labour Transport Secretary Alistair Darling proposed a similar scheme. However, it was met with a petition signed by over 1.8 million people who stated the idea of tracking every vehicle at all times is sinister and wrong, and a ‘big brother’ state and invasion of privacy. The boom in vehicle telematics usage over the last decade, particularly in relation to insurance discounts for younger drivers and Fleet Management systems, should have softened motorist disapproval to share driving and vehicle data, but the Venson survey suggests many motorists are still reluctant to embrace this type of technology.
2An independent survey of 200 motorists conducted by Maru Hub