ENERGY analysts have said today that a fuel duty would need to be imposed on electric cars.
Saturn Energy has found that in order to fund the power stations needed to keep electric cars on the road, the fuel duty of up to 10p a mile would need to be implemented.
The firm said that electricity should cost ‘about the same as petrol’, which is certain to deter motorists and businesses from shifting to electric cars to try to save money on driving.
The call comes on the day that the Government has announced a £5k grant for any electric car bought. The energy firm said though a massive investment would be needed in new generating plants as well as upgrades to the ageing national grid if the Climate Change Committee’s call for 1.7million electric cars on Britain’s roads by 2020 was to become a reality.
It estimated that such taxes would raise £1.7 billion a year, which, if kept exclusively for the purpose, could pay for one new nuclear plant, two gas-fired power stations or 10,000 new wind turbines each year.
Saturn Energy’s managing director John McShane said: ‘Even with the grants these cars won’t be cheap.
‘The running costs of an electric car, if you can afford one, look attractive – two pence per mile compared with say 12p for a conventional car.
‘But putting a million on the road will mean having to build new power stations to keep them charged when we’re already concerned about power shortages.
‘If the electricity used to charge these cars cost about the same as petrol then that may provide the investment we need.
‘Nervousness in the economy is killing investment in new and renewable energy and the Government really is the only one that can spark the required investment to change this position.’
Saturn Energy said any tax would reduce the incentive for people to change to an electric car but John McShane added: “We can’t cut emissions without making sure that we can keep the lights on in our homes and businesses.”