Electric cars won't be so cheap to run.

  canarieslover 08:29 06 Jul 2010

As I have always suspected there will be a need to tax electric cars in a way that will make up the deficit in Excise Duty lost on fossil fuels. They are giving the reason that it will stress the National Grid but we all know that no government can lose a large source of income without getting it elsewhere. It seems that you need to get in now, before a new tax is devised, if you want to get any benefit from the fuel currently being tax free.(Pun intended) Note the phrase "However, it is likely the Government would put part of any such revenue into the general pot for expenditure" as that is what happens with the tax on fossil fuels.

click here

  jack 09:24 06 Jul 2010

It has to be made up from somewhere else.
The answer is to get rid of nomenclature as 'Road Fund Tax, Fuel Excise Duty- and tax every vehicle owner on usage[A meter in every vehicle?]

  Chegs ®™ 09:49 06 Jul 2010

As the majority of electric cars available presently have a range shorter than an asthmatic riding a bicycle uphill(and are about as fast)I'll continue to walk wherever I need to go,& for long journeys I'll take the train(unemployed so no need to rush from place to place)the government will need look elsewhere to gain their tax revenue.

  spuds 09:58 06 Jul 2010

You don't need a meter, just increase the fuel charges, and do away with the other taxes. Our local council tested (for HM government) a series of overhead vehicle monitoring devices for possible vehicle usage and road tolls, over a 1 or 2 year period. The results of the testing went into the secrets folder :O(

Would mention that this same council are now using a number of new electric scooters under test conditions. Apparently the scooters have a 30 mile running radius before needing a £2.50 recharge from the mains. One of the Lord Mayor's prestige Ford Transit's is running on electric power.

Nothing like being environmentally friendly!.

  natdoor 10:33 06 Jul 2010

Since it is currently possible to charge electric cars via the domestic supply, the imposition of tax on electricity used for cars would be problematic.

  jack 10:58 06 Jul 2010

Dispensing with RFT and levying the fuel has long been talked about in this country and is infact what is done in France and Italy-
Large vehicles and high mileage vehicles consume more fuel and use the road more so they pay proportionally more.

Natador- not problematic at all
2 ways- a variation on the white- eco7 meter or an actual meter in the car will determine what 'leccy' goes to transport.

One thing this country is very good at

Talking about a topic - but those we elect - do not listen or act.

  skeletal 11:20 06 Jul 2010

Jack is spot on. Just imagine, by magic, tomorrow everyone jumps into their cheap electric vehicle. No more road tax! We’ll all have loads of extra cash.


Not very likely is it. Remember the only reason road fuel is so expensive is because of the tax. So, fuel tax HAS to be applied to the electricity for vehicles, eventually.

But it’s worse than that. I have pointed out before that a petrol station filling pipe is approximately equivalent to a 25 MegaWatt power line. In other words, in simple terms, you are moving absolutely huge amounts of energy from petrol stations, and then storing huge amounts, on all the vehicles.

You have to mimic that from the electricity supply infrastructure. You won’t be able to. The grid capacity will have to be increased.

The inescapable conclusion is that billions will have to be spent on increasing the grid capacity. This will eventually come from increased electricity prices and or increased taxation.

Of course, if there are only a few thousand electric vehicles around, they can be accommodated by improvements in the supply networks. These changes are on the horizon. Smart meters and their companion smart grids, and smart appliances, will work to modify consumer behaviours (in essence by variable tariff structures) and possibly, automatic load shedding. This will smooth out supply peaks and enable vehicle charging to take place at periods of low demand.

At some point though, this will not be sufficient and capacity will have to increase.

Oh, and I do get fed up with the idea that electric vehicles are “environmentally friendly”. This is only true at the vehicle itself; don’t forget the power station that generates the electricity. Hug a polar bear and use a wind turbine? If you assume a turbine has a permanent output of 3MW, that the 25MW petrol pipe can fill a vehicle in 2 minutes, that you fill the vehicle once a week, that there are 30 million vehicles in the UK, a quick fag packet calculation suggests you need 50,000 wind turbines to keep “filling” the vehicles.


  spuds 19:48 06 Jul 2010

Perhaps one day, all filling station will have their own wind or water turbine, or perhaps a donkey on a treadmill at the back ;o))

  wee eddie 20:46 06 Jul 2010

they're so keen on "Road Pricing"

  Covergirl 20:53 06 Jul 2010

. . . as for "asthmatic" etc, well, there is an alternative electric car - the Tesla click here

Plenty of other clips from Top Gear on You Tube if you want to watch dire quality for 10 mins so go for the ones posted by the BBC.

  the hick 21:10 06 Jul 2010

skeletal, I think I gallon of petrol is around 115,000 BTU, how does this does convert to a petrol station filling pipe equivalent to a 25MW power line? I am a bit perplexed here.

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