Industry campaigners urge Chancellor to cut VAT on public charging

Electric vehicle campaign group FairCharge and a number of industry backers have written to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ahead of this Wednesday’s Budget to demand a reduction in VAT on public charging.

Electric vehicle drivers who can charge at home pay just 5% VAT on their energy bill, but 38% of those without driveways are forced to use public chargers and pay the full VAT rate of 20%, says Transport + Energy.

An open letter, delivered to Jeremy Hunt by FairCharge, has been signed by energy provider E.ON, ChargeUK, Auto Trader, Jaguar Land Rover, Stellantis, Polestar, Autocar Magazine, Greenpeace, Transport & Environment, The Campaign for Better Transport and many others who support the transition to EVs. The letter outlines how drivers are being unfairly disadvantaged by outdated, higher rates of VAT on public electric car charging, and want the Chancellor to offer a fair charging boost to electric vehicle adoption in this week’s Budget.

The price difference between home and public charging is now significant and acting as a barrier to EV adoption. Auto Trader has calculated that drivers charging off peak at-home could save £865 annually compared to internal combustion engine vehicles, but that a driver using public rapid chargers would pay £264 more over a year.

The group warns that EV drivers without home charging are facing an unfair burden which will undermine the Government’s levelling up and cleaner air targets, and create a barrier to further EV adoption. 32% of consumers surveyed by Auto Trader last year cited the expense of public charging as a key barrier to owning an electric vehicle. Certain charge point operators, including E.ON, have committed that any VAT cut would also provide an important benefit to EV drivers and could be passed on to motorists almost immediately.

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