In the UK’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor of the Exchequer Phillip Hammond MP announced a further £390 million investment by 2020-21 in ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEVs) and connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs).
As part of the statement, Mr Hammond revealed that £80 million will be provided for charging points for ULEVs, while £100 million will be invested in testing infrastructure for driverless cars.
Related investments include £150 million in support for low emission buses and taxis, and £20 million for the development of alternative aviation and heavy goods vehicle fuels.
In addition to supporting the advanced and expanding ULEV industry in the UK, a wider range of transport-based investments were also announced including a new Cambridge-Oxford Expressway which will not only ease congestion along a route that also takes in Milton Keynes, but also reinforce the regions research and technology corridor, of which the automotive industry plays a significant part.
The tech corridor is part of a new £1.1 billion investment in the UK road network, aimed at reducing congestion at traffic pinch points and their environmental impact.
The UK Government will also provide £23 billion for a National Productivity Investment Fund over the next five years, which will be of benefit to the UK’s automotive manufacturing and research & development industries. Likewise, the automotive industry will benefit from the £1 billion investment in full-fibre broadband and 5G mobile communications, with the latter considered an important element in the roll-out of connected and autonomous cars.
Regarding changes to transport taxation, from today to the end of March 2019, business installed EV charging points will now be eligible for Enhanced Capital Allowances (100% First Year write-down), and ULEVs are excluded from clamp-downs on existing Salary Sacrifice schemes, with sub-75 g/km CO2 vehicles set to be available under such schemes.
Changes to Company Car Tax bands were also announced from 2020-21, with new lower bands set to be introduced for the lowest emitting cars, while vehicles emitting more than 90 g/km CO2 will see their BIK percentage rise one per cent. Details to expected to follow by the next Budget in March 2017.
As expected, fuel duty for petrol and diesel will be frozen at 57.95 pence per litre until April 2017, the seventh successive year that it remains unchanged saving the average car driver £130 a year, and the average van driver £350 a year.