Britain believed to be sweet-talking Germany to help delay looming EU electric vehicle levies

  • No. 10 has approached German government in Berlin for assistance, says media
  • Upcoming levies could costs industry over £3.7bn in additional costs
  • Brussels standing firm on timetable, though

Time 7:22 am, July 8, 2023

Rishi Sunak is believed to be sweet-talking German chancellor Olaf Scholz to help delay upcoming levies on EVs shipped between the UK and the EU.

Britain has directly approached the German government in Berlin as it seeks to push back the phase-in of the tariffs, according Automotive News Europe.

The EU isn’t budging on its timetable to implement the controversial plans next year.

European carmakers have sought to delay the roll-out as it’ll add huge additional costs between 2024 and 2027.

ACEA, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, said last month the 10 per cent tariff due to be slapped on cars crossing the Channel could cost the industry €4.3bn (£3.7bn).

Under the terms of the post-Brexit deal, any EVs that are sold across the Channel must have three-fifths of their battery and 45 per cent of their parts by overall value originating from either the UK or EU.

Britain and European carmakers want to stretch out the planned phase-in period by three years, allowing more time for the battery supply chain to develop.

Despite pressure from the UK and car manufacturers, Brussels has so far been unmoved.

It’s thought any delay would require changes to the UK-EU Trade and Co-operation Agreement – something Brussels is not keen to do.

Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission’s chief for inter-institutional relations said in an interview with Bloomberg Television, and quoted on Automotive News Europe: ‘We are afraid that if we get soft on this issue, in three years we will have the same discussion as we have right now.’

Both the UK and German governments have been approached for comment, said Automotive News Europe.

The news comes after a report in the Financial Times, and reported by Car Dealer, earlier this week that said the EU is standing firm on the timetable.

In that story, a UK government spokesperson was quoted by the FT as saying: ‘The business and trade secretary has raised concerns about the 2024 rules of origin changes for electric vehicles and their batteries with the EU and is determined to find a joint UK-EU solution that ensures the UK remains one of the best locations in the world for automotive manufacturing.’

James Batchelor's avatar

James – or Batch as he’s known – started at Car Dealer in 2010, first as the work experience boy, eventually becoming editor in 2013. He worked for Auto Express as editor-at-large and was the face of Carbuyer’s YouTube reviews. In 2020, he went freelance and now writes for a number of national titles and contributes regularly to Car Dealer. In October 2021 he became Car Dealer's associate editor.

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