RAC News

Zero-emission vehicles, which are currently not taxed, will be subject to a £14 charge, infrastructure minister Ray Harmer told the Isle of Man Parliament, Tynwald.

Mr Harmer says the tax is necessary as funds collected from petrol and diesel vehicles will “rapidly decrease over the next 10 years”.

Currently, there are 280 electric vehicles and 706 hybrid vehicles registered on the island.

The infrastructure minister says while it is “good to incentivise”, there are “other reasons” for people switching to electric cars, including improvements in technology.

Back in October, the UK House of Commons’ Transport Committee called for a national debate on road pricing in the advent of an electric car revolution, with suggested schemes including a pay-as-you-drive road tax,

Financial experts have also predicted that the popularity of electric vehicles could lead to nationwide road tolls for all drivers totalling £700 a year, so it’s likely that the UK government will be paying close attention to the Isle of Man electric vehicle charge.

Mr Harmer described the “difficult balance” of moving towards a new environment with electric vehicles, and the ongoing responsibilities of road maintenance.

“The highways need to be repaired and we need money to do that,” he said.

Andrew Langan-Newton of The Isle of Man Green Party (IOMGP) said financial incentives are “important in encouraging the adoption of low carbon transport”.

He said that while a tax is to be expected, removing the incentives before people own an electric car is “a retrograde step”.

Mr Langan-Newton called for a government grant or loan scheme to “assist lower earners in Isle of Man society in having access to electric vehicles”.

Further details of this new charge will be brought to Tynwald in February 2020.

Do you think the government should be incentivising drivers to take up electric vehicles or perhaps you think it’s only fair to tax them like this? Leave us a comment below.

For more news from the RAC click here