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VAT penalty for electric drivers who rely on public chargepoints hits £13.2m a month

Britain’s electric car drivers who rely on public charging points are paying £13.2 million a month more than necessary.

The mark-up for going green is because these public chargers carry a VAT charge at 20 percent which compares to 5 percent for home chargers.

It is estimated that some 221,000 EV drivers – around one in five – are entirely reliant on these expensive public chargers.

And it is claimed the difference between charging at home to using the public charge points is £92-£138 per month.

A coalition that includes energy company Eon, the RAC, the Renewable Energy Association, and the group FairCharge, founded by cars expert, Quentin Wilson, have called on the Chancellor to slash the 20 percent VAT figure.

In an open letter to Jeremy Hunt, they said: “HMRC’s current tax policy is acting as a barrier to wider electric vehicle adoption.”

They said the current VAT regime meant it can be more expensive to charge an EV at a public charger than filling up with petrol or diesel.

They added: “For drivers who rely on public devices, these higher taxes are an unfair burden and counters both the government’s levelling up and cleaner urban air ambitions.”

Historically, householders were effectively banned from having a home charger installed if they did not have a garage or off-street parking, however, this restriction is being removed. As a result, more households will be entitled to a £350 grant towards the cost.

Currently, some 77,000 drivers are thought to be relying on plugging their cars into a three pin plug point. This charges at very slow rates while the owners often have to come up with ingenious methods to run the cables out of their homes and across pavements to the kerbside.

Installing a fast charger at home, typically a 7.4 kW version, would massively speed up the process.

The research was carried out by Cord, who are the home charger installation partners of Halfords.

Its starting price for a charger and installation is £999, however, many older properties have to have their home fuse board upgraded to take the extra load, which can add time and money to the costs.

Cord co-founder Paul Tomlinson said: “Far too many EV drivers are missing out on the best part of driving an electric car – waking up to a fully-fueled car that cost less than a takeaway coffee to charge overnight.

“Instead they are waiting around at public charging stations and spending a cumulative £13.2m more than they need to, every month.

“Obviously a big issue here is the ten million homes across the UK without any off-street parking, which makes installing a home charger trickier – but not impossible. “The Government has recently extended eligibility for a EV charging grant so that EV drivers with on-street parking can get £350 towards the cost of a kerbside charger.

“This won’t solve the problem for everyone, but it’s a start.

“These drivers are doing the right thing for the planet – they should make sure to do the right thing for their wallet too.”,ik


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