Petrol To Subsidise Electric?

Mon 8th Aug 2022

The government is hoping to persuade millions of car owners to switch to electric vehicles over the next decade, but they are offering very little in the way of incentives, and while the cost of an EV is significantly higher than a petrol or diesel equivalent, there is no major rush for many to make the switch.

Prospective electric cat buyers were offered a government grant in previous years, but that has slowly dwindled down over time and now one of the UK’s leading car bosses has proposed a radical solution. James Taylor, MD of Stellantis has said that the government should place higher taxes on petrol  or diesel engines to help fund better subsidies on electric vehicles.

Speaking to Autocar, Taylor, who is responsible for Alfa Romeo and Vauxhall in his portfolio, said that his own company is a firm footing with EV development, which possibly explains why he is keen to punish those brands that are still focusing on combustion engines.

“There should be a taxation system that incentivises electrification and zero tailpipe emissions. But it could then be cross-funded by the higher-polluting cars so, on balance, it works out the same,” Stellantis’ UK boss said.

“We're a leader on electric - as we've seen that we do very well in the segments we're in today, and as we bring more models out, we'll do well in those segments - but also our ICE vehicles are very competitive on CO2 versus their competition. So anything that disadvantages that competition versus us on ICE is also going to be a benefit.”

The Stellantis ‘Dare Forward 2030’ plan is to be pure electric in Europe by 2026, and also to reduce tailpipe emissions by 50 per cent in the same time frame. The ambition is now being matched by a more mature EV car buying market, with most owners now giving serious consideration to EV.

He said: “We're quickly going to get to the tipping point where the majority of the market is electrified. Because people will think electrified first, ICE second at that point. We're on that roadmap. And I think we'll get there perhaps a little bit quicker than people are expecting.”