EVIOM is pleased to report that the anomaly surrounding vehicle duty for zero emission vehicles has been raised in the House of Keys this week (Tuesday 14th February).
David Ashford (Douglas North) asked the Minister for Infrastructure, Ray Harmer, "what consideration had been given by his Department to varying vehicle duty for alternative fuel cars?" Mr Harmer advised he intends to take a revised Vehicle Duty Order to Tynwald this March. This interim order will address a number of different issues but he did confirm that he proposes to include a zero rating for electric vehicles. Over the next 12 months the Department will carry out a review of road pricing and attempt to address the balance of maintaining revenue with the Government commitment to reducing carbon emissions and incentivise "desirable behaviour". The review will involve looking at strategies employed by other jurisdictions and will include some kind of consultation.
Recognising that Electric cars, or EVs, are the predominant type of zero emission vehicle Mr Ashford pushed for confirmation that all types of alternatively fuelled vehicles will be included in the review and close attention paid to changes announced by the UK Chancellor in their 2015 budget for April this year. From April, in the UK, zero emission vehicles will have a standard rate of £0 but if the list price is over £40,000 they will pay the additional rate of £310 a year for 5 years. The Minister confirmed that he will "take a very close look at what is happening in other jurisdictions, including the United Kingdom."
It is not just about carbon emissions; it is also about affordability and the commercial sector.
Ray Harmer MHK - on the subject of vehicle duty based on CO2 emissions
MHK for Ramsey Dr Alex Allinson also highlighted the current anomaly of zero emission EVs paying more duty than low emission or hybrid vehicles. Dr Allinson went on to ask if there would be any other incentives to try and encourage the adoption of electric vehicles in the Isle of Man? Mr Harmer confirmed his Department would be looking at this but warned that in order to introduce a similar scheme to the Plug-in Car Grant in the UK it could cost the Manx tax payer in the region of £300,000.
Those other schemes such as grants could be looked at, but we have also got to take into consideration budget factors.
Ray Harmer MHK - on plug-in vehicle grants
The lack of public charging infrastructure and how this could hamper attempts to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles was also brought up during the discussion by Mr Ashford. Mr Harmer didn't reply with any specific plans in this area but did say that he would like to work with other Departments and the MUA on the provision of public charging as well as encouraging overnight charging when demand is low and off-peak tariffs are available.
I do think it is something to actually work together as a Government looking at both the economic benefit and also the potential new innovations in the future.
Ray Harmer MHK - on the question of public charging infrastructure
Audio from 3 FM article - http://www.three.fm/news/isle-of-man-news/car-tax-exemption-for-electric-vehicle-drivers/
EVIOM are pleased this is finally being looked at as we have been highlighting vehicle duty anomalies since 2013. We look forward to seeing what changes will be made in the short term and hope for much greater encouragement of EVs on the island in the long term. If you haven't seen it already I encourage you to take a look at this post on EVIOM entitled EV Disincentives – A Letter to Your MHK a post that outlines what we see as the main disincentives to owning an EV on the Isle of Man and what we'd like the Isle of Man Government to consider in order to encourage the uptake of EVs. In it we ask you to forward this letter, along with a covering letter/email, to your own MHK.