Top Motoring Campaigner Supports EV Drive For Fair Treatment

12th Jan 2022

Top Motoring Campaigner Supports EV Drive For Fair Treatment

Motoring journalist and former BBC Top Gear presenter Quentin Wilson who has, for over 10 years led the Fair Fuel UK lobby for fairer treatment for petrol and diesel car drivers, has switched his allegiance to support EV owners…

Since 2010 Fair Fuel UK - an industry-funded lobby group that campaigns against charges and taxes on UK motorists - has saved drivers over £100bn in planned tax hikes in fuel duty and VAT.

Making his decision to walk away from Fair Fuel UK last year, Wilson has now launched the FairCharge UK campaign, saying he is now fully focused on lobbying the government on behalf of EV drivers.

Speaking exclusively to Transport + Energy Wilson says that in his recent letter to the UK Treasury he has demanded they reduce the VAT rate levied at public EV chargers from 20% to 5%.

He believes that such a high rate of VAT is “going to disable a huge amount of people and dis-incentivise them to drive EVs. It’s a nutty policy blunder that needs to be sorted out. And we can do that.”

Wilson, who sits on the editorial board of Transport + Energy and writes an exclusive monthly column for the publication, has requested a meeting with the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to discuss how to “turbocharge” EV adoption in the UK.

In the letter he says: “The current mismatch between the rates of VAT charged for domestic electricity and that on public charge points is creating a disincentive to EV adoption, and for the 30 to 40% of UK drivers who don’t have on-street or driveway charging, an unfair burden. The current policy disadvantages many lower income EV drivers and those who live in cities, who have no option but to use public EV chargers.”

Through FairCharge the seasoned transport campaigner wants to ensure that the Government doesn’t roll back on previous promises which it has made.

He told Transport + Energy: “There’s growing pressure to dilute some of the government’s green strategies, so I’ll be saying, hang on, you can’t promise us all the sustainable vision of a clean energy future, and then have number 11 say, no, sorry. That’s off the menu now. Because we all know we must. It’s historic as we really have a once in a generation opportunity to transition from polluting fossil fuels into low carbon, sustainable, renewable electricity. And if we don’t do it, then it will be to our eternal shame for generations to come.”

One of the key objectives of the group will be to help ensure a wider understanding of electric vehicles.

“We must promote a wider understanding of electric cars – to ministers, politicians, and the public to help bust all the legacy myths which are being reheated by forces that are becoming more vocal and strident against electrification,” comments Willson.

Wilson previously outlined his concerns about the amount of information doing the rounds designed to discredit electric vehicles (EVs), in a previous column for Transport + Energy.

“I’m absolutely adamant there are a lobbyists funded by mountains of money that are going to try and destabilise this. We need to keep working and keep the awareness and education flowing so people can make their own decisions and not be influenced by vested interests.”

EVA Scotland director Neil Swanson welcomed Quentin Wilson’s switch to campaigning on behalf of EV drivers and, as Transport is a devolved matter, asked the veteran campaigner to support our efforts in lobbying the Scottish government.

Quentin has already replied: “I’d be delighted to work with EVA Scotland and help to lobby the Scottish Government. The electrification of road transport has no boundaries and the challenges and benefits are global.”

NOTE: EVA Scotland members can follow Quentin’s campaign on Twitter @fairchargeuk and register as supporters on the website


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