Fleet News

Meridian calls on Government to work with fleets over 2035 electric vehicle plans

Phil Jerome, managing director of Meridian Vehicle Solutions

Government needs to work with the fleet and motoring sectors to ensure a smooth transition to the end of petrol, diesel and hybrid car sales in 2035, says Meridian Vehicle Solutions.

The Government last week announced it was bringing forward the ban on sale of those vehicles from 2040.

This led the fleet industry to accuse politicians of "not living in the real world".

Phil Jerome, the medium-term rental specialist’s managing director, said the announcement had created an enormous number of potential pitfalls that damage the prospects of the adoption of electric vehicles.

He said: “The 2035 deadline is close enough that it means everyone working in the fleet and wider motor industries needs to be able to plan progress on a year-by-year basis.

“Much of this is because motor manufacturers are simple unable to change production quickly.

“Really, we need to have a good idea of where the Government expects us to be, almost on a year-by-year basis, and for the industry to consult on how realistic those plans might be.

“Just having a present start point and 2035 end point is not sufficient information.”

Jerome said the increase in EV adoption needs to be matched by improvements in charger capacity, while the industry needs to be given clarity over taxation plans.

He added: “The Government deliberately uses the benefit-in-kind taxation rates for company cars to manipulate demand for certain kinds of vehicles and the new 0% EV rate is certain to stimulate demand.

“However, how does the Government see those EV BIK tax rates changing over time and presumably, eventually reaching a similar kind of level to those we now see for petrol and diesel cars today? The same questions also surround VED and fuel duty.

“Unless a degree of structured decision is in place, making around all of this made known as soon as possible, there is the possibility of some degree of chaos and resulting substantial financial damage.

“The motor industry - and the fleets that form half of its customer base in the UK - are not fast fashion where products can be changed in a fortnight. Planning what will happen in the middle of this decade is already well underway, for example.”

 

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