Written evidence submitted by Richard Fowler (EVP0147)


Road pricing [mooted to replace road tax and fuel duty], is a key factor in both tax revenue and ZEV affordability but seems to be an afterthought in the enthusiasm for the many worthy ideas and initiatives as we approach the climate conference in November.


i am concerned that by 2030-2035, 8-10 million poor and low-paid drivers-between one quarter and one third of the current total of active drivers- will be unable to afford to buy or lease and use even second-hand ZEVs.


A large reduction in car numbers whether through public policy [eg congestion] or affordability has serious implications nationally and locally. For tax revenue, public transport, work, leisure [including Lincolnshires 'car and static caravan' budget visitor economy], even health as the NHS steadily centralises care while fewer people would have cars. Poor and low-paid drivers are officially likely to be carers, cleaners, shop and hospitality workers etc.


Half of UK cars now, about 16 million, are over 8 years old [Source: RAC]. Used ZEVs will cost 50%-100% more than conventional cars mainly due to higher resale prices and road pricing while battery leasing, higher insurance costs and commercial charging for some will cancel out cheaper home charging and lower servicing costs.


I have asked the National Audit Office to look over my figures and await a reply. I would welcome the Transport Committee commissioning more expert objective analysis and forecasting as i do not have access to better data or tools.


Road-pricing could be discounted for older ZEVs to increase uptake and encourage repair rather than scrappage.


There are public transport opportunities e.g. the new Government bus funding and the Restore your Railway' feasibility studies.


BASIC FACTS AND FIGURES [various sources]


There are approx.  32 million cars and 6 million HGVs, vans, motorcycles etc on UK roads.


There are approx. 30 million active drivers out of 40 million licence holders, over half the adult population.


Road Tax and road fuel duty together contribute approx. £40 billion in each normal year to the Exchequer. 


So, on average each vehicle contributes about £1300 per year to the Exchequer.


April 2021