Nearly a third (29%) of electric vehicle (EV) buyers said they would be happy to pay vehicle excise duty (VED) road tax.

The research by What Car? showed that 56% of drivers believe full EVs should pay road tax. This includes EV buyers – 29% of whom believe they should already attract tax bill.

Growing issue

What Car? said the Treasury will need to introduce new road tax policies as EV sales grow.  The current tailpipe-CO2 g/km framework is ‘untenable’ for zero emissions vehicles.

“Fully electric cars currently enjoy a tax-free status to help incentivise uptake,” states Steve Huntingford, editor at What Car?. “This will need to change in the coming years as petrol and diesel ownership declines.

“Our research has found buyers, including those intending to buy electric as their next car, are already open to the idea of paying road tax on an electric vehicle, with most keen to see a flat rate introduced across all makes and models.”

Plugging in

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA) recently told MPs on the Government’s Transport Select Committee that the rise of EVs has presented a “clear need” for road pricing.

Of the 44% of respondents who believe EVs should remain tax exempt, 40% want them taxed them by 2030. This is when the ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles arrives. Meanwhile, 10% want them taxed by 2025.

The most popular option (39%) for all in-market buyers surveyed is a flat annual tax on all electric cars. This would ignore make and model and size. that is equal across all makes. Furthermore, 26% would like to see road charging, where users are charged per mile driven. A progressive annual tax based on a vehicle’s list price was favoured by 18% .

Road charging would likely result in drivers reducing their mileage. 38% of respondents state that if road charging replaced VED, they would reduce their vehicle use.

Their is also support (40%) for taxing existing petrol and diesel vehicles more after 2030. This is the point when new models can no longer be sold. Even 12% of those looking to purchase a petrol or diesel vehicle supported the initiative.