$35 Billion: UK Faces Huge Loss From Electric Vehicle Adoption

From Oilprice.com

Jon LeSage – Oct 12, 2019, 4:00 PM CDT

If Great Britain keeps its commitment to switch over its vehicles to electric by 2050, the government will see a whopping loss of 28 billion pounds ($35 billion) paid by motorists driving traditional gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles.

That comes from a study released Friday by London-based Institute for Fiscal Studies examining the impact of the UK’s net-zero greenhouse gas emissions law adopted in June and signed by previous Prime Minister Theresa May. England became the first G7 country to set the goal of reaching zero net emissions by 2050.

Fuel duties on petrol-powered vehicles make up almost 4 percent of total government receipts — and all of that will disappear unless urgent action is taken, according to think tank IFS’ study. The government may need to take a new approach to taxing motorists as all-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles become the norm, the study advises.

The UK’s mission to switch over to EVs and renewable energy by 2050 represents “a huge long-run fiscal challenge” for the government, according to the study.

The government faces other hits on tax revenue. The UK will be seeing a drop of about 20 billion pounds a year ($24.5 billion) from the government’s new policy of freezing tax duties to help people struggling with the cost of living, the IFS said. There’s also concern that another 1 billion pounds ($1.229 billion) could be lost if Prime Minister Boris Johnson follows through on his commitment to cut duties by 2 pence per liter of fuel.

“The government should set out its long-term plan for taxing driving, before it finds itself with virtually no revenues from driving and no way to correct for the costs -– most importantly congestion –- that driving imposes on others,” said Rebekah Stroud, an IFS economist who co-authored the report.

Duty on unleaded gasoline and diesel has remained frozen at 57.95 pence per liter since 2011, accounting for 1.3 percent of England’s GDP. The fuel recently has been costing 126.9 pence per liter, of which 57.95 pence is duty — about 45 percent of the total fuel cost.

The think tank recommends implementing taxes on EVs soon, as car owners are becoming used to avoiding these duties on their fuel. New motoring taxes should reflect distance driven and vary according to when and where the trips take place in the vehicle. A flat-rate tax per mile driven could be another taxation model used, according to the study.

Prime Minister Johnson used his platform at the Conservative Party conference last week to advocate for continuing support in the net-zero emissions mandate by mid-century. Johnson has a strategy to be put into place advocating investments made in EV production, energy reduction in all new homes, and the planting of one million trees to combat climate change.

The Tory party has a much larger policy question to address first — what to do about Brexit. The UK is due to leave the European Union at the end of this month.

The new prime minister isn’t interested in hearing arguments made by protesters warning of imminent disaster from climate change. Thousands of climate change protestors blocked London’s roads and bridges on Oct. 8 to launch a two-week long demonstration. That led to the Metro police arresting 280 activists.

Full article here.

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148 thoughts on “$35 Billion: UK Faces Huge Loss From Electric Vehicle Adoption

  1. If half of the annual human emissions of carbon dioxide are absorbed by the biosphere every year, then why not have a 50% reduction target at 3 orders of magnitude less expensive than a 100% reduction target?
    Slightly more than a 50% reduction would slowly draw down the total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Why do we have to try to maximize this draw down at such enormous expense?

      • But, but, you’re demonstrating a knowledge of geologic history where higher levels of CO2 are associated with garden of Eden like conditions on earth and lower levels (less than 200 PPM) are associated with waste land like conditions seen during ice ages. We warmists can’t allow the idea to get out that climate past can be a guide to climate future. We need another good Hockeystick graph to refute (suppress) these these non-conforming facts.

    • You cannot get to where the activists claim to want to go without doing two things (which overlap).

      1) You have to abolish the auto industry globally. Simple replacement of ICE by electric will not do anything much. You’ll have to stop the whole thing to make the kind of difference they claim to want. Along with much more.

      2) You have to persuade China and India etc to actually reduce emissions.

      You will not find any activist prepared to advocate doing either one. Go figure.

      • Or go 100% nuclear, another measure the greens refuse to do showing that their real motive has nothing to do with climate.

        • I keep saying that you’ll know the left sees Climate Change as a legitimate existential threat when they embrace nuclear power. If we’re spending our time on something, we should be trying to figure out how to eliminate the grid altogether and generate all of our power where it is used. Solves a lot of problems.

          • I do not think nuclear power generation and local power generation are compatible for our society. I am not saying a nuclear generator in each vehicle is impossible, buuuttt…

          • Forget every vehicle. I won’t be satisfied till we have a nuke powering every flashlight and cordless drill.

            Plutonium RTG (radioisotope thermoelectric generator) in every size from D to AAA. That would sure end the need for the ol Power Grid.

            ^¿^

        • Jim: As a recent post pointed out, going 100% nuclear by 2050 means building 3 nuclear plants every two days worldwide. Assuming a 30 year life cycle for these plants, the ones built in 2019 would have to be replaced in 2050 thereby ensuring an infinite, never ending building plan. What’s not to like about that if you’re in the nuclear plant building business?

      • Michel,
        You have to do far more than that to get to where climate activists want to go. The elites behind this know that full well. That’s their goal–for others, not themselves, of course.

        Leading Economist: “Only Sure Way To Reduce CO2 Emissions Is To Make People Poor”!
        6. September 2019
        https://notrickszone.com

    • “How to replace gasoline taxes?”

      Well, if you let people keep more of the money they earn, then they will spend that money on the local economy which will increase the nation’s GDP, which will increase the amount of tax revenue the government takes in.

      People spend their own money much more efficiently than a government bureaucrat, and increased consumer spending increases economic activity.

      In the past when taxes were cut in the U.S., tax revenue to the government increased. I assume this is also the case with Trump’s tax cuts, considering the booming economy, but I haven’t seen any figures on it yet.

      • One of the biggest problems in Australia is that barely 25% of fuel excise is actually used on roads and its infrastructure, the rest is gobbled up by bureaucrats in the snout pit for “green” BS. Similar story in the UK..?

    • GPS chips in all new cars with per mile driven toll charges (and time dependent pricing with rush hour being most expensive).

      • Since Oct 1st 2015 all cars sold in the EU have had a tracker fitted (google e-call. Finally switched on on April 15th 2018)). They can already be tracked, and are, the powers that be also have the ability to automatically issue speeding tickets. Not many UK citizens are aware of this. Typical EU; all done by stealth.

        • I am no fan of the EU but I gather – from
          https://ec.europa.eu/transport/themes/its/road/action_plan/ecall_en – that the ecall does notcontinually track cars; nor does it issue speeding tickets.

          That said, the EU may have those functions in mind really, really soon.

          Fitting was mandatory for vehicles of M-1 and N-1 [???!] from 31 March 2018. So, eighteen months in, and I have seen a very recent press report [the ‘Sun’, IIRC!] where the car called automatically.

          The regs were published – but perhaps not publicised!

          Auto – wearing a double-layer tin-foil hat to prevent my thoughts being read by Brussels! [SARC, at this moment!]

        • It is a very similar situation in the U.S., with the exception of automatic tickets. We enjoy the right to face our accuser, hence the many lawsuits against red light cameras.

      • decnine,
        ” rush hour ”

        Country folks don’t experience rush hour.
        Once in awhile I have to pull over and let a herd of cattle
        flow by, or maybe there is a big piece of farm machinery.
        In either case, there is no “rush” about it. One just deals with it.

      • Fine in theory. However, toll charges will only negatively affect the poorer drivers. Executives, politicians, councillors, senior public servants etc driving company vehicles, will have their costs met by their employer/ business/ government department/council etc or through their expense allowance. The only people who will be deterred from driving (especially in rush hour) are those who have to personally bear the cost. Fewer cars on the road for the privileged.

    • IMO, the government will mandate incorporation of gov. issued monitoring devices. Operational measurements will include distances, velocities, and geographical location. Inspections will be handled monthly, with usage taxes and fines imposed based upon travel logged and any speed violations during that period.

  2. Its not a valid argument.

    The argument in favor of going electric is that it eliminates local pollution in cities and residential areas. It probably does not lower CO2 emissions, but it will lower particulate and NO2 emissions at a local street level, which are both unpleasant and damaging to health.

    That is the case for doing this. It has nothing to do with global warming. And there is no argument against it based on revenue losses from gasoline taxes. Just find some other way to raise the money.

    Its like arguing that eliminating smoking will cause revenue loss because of taxes on tobacco. Who cares? The argument is about public health.

    I would like to see large scale replacement of ICE with electric in UK cities, and would also like to see proper attention given to making spaces for people to walk and bike safely.

    We have to stop thinking that the point of roads in cities is to allow people to drive polluting vehicles at speed through places where we live, work and play, solely so they can get to their own neighborhoods where other people are driving through them.

    The whole assumption that the car is a sort of sacred monster whose free use cannot be curtailed has to go. And not because of global warming! Because of basic commonsense and respect for quality of life in urban areas.

    • Ignorant fool. The air has not been cleaner for over 200 years. A petrol car driving down Oxford St. cleans the air!
      Electric cars still put out particulates from tyres and brakes, not that particulates are a great problem.
      And we would need 12 more nuclear power plants to power that number of electric cars.
      Unless you favour the Soviet model where only VIPs had cars.

    • Michel, where is the vast amount of lithium going to come from? What is the cost of uograding the whole of the uk, so super chargers can be fitted? Why can’t cyclists pay tax, why is it the car driver who has to pay tax for the roads to be fixed? How will transportation work in the city? Food deliveries, police, ambulance, fire trucks? Will food be bought to the city limits, then unloaded to be reload in to electric vehicles? Also, who will buy millions of people a new electric car? I can’t afford one.

      • Sunny: you should bear in mind that most adult cyclists are undoubtedly also motorists. I live in the UK, and run two cars, one a ‘classic’ which is used sparingly, yet is still taxed fully as is the other one. I consider that I pay quite enough road tax, thank you.
        Having established my motoring credentials, let me tell you that I’m also a keen cyclist. I’ve been riding for about sixty years, and my machines certainly don’t damage the roads and create potholes – so I fail to see why cyclists should pay road tax.

        • The roads are used by motorists and by cyclists. Each uses a certain amount of road space for a certain amount of time. Ultimately, enough road has to be built to provide enough road space-time for total demand. Road construction is funded to some extent by road taxes. Therefore cyclists should pay road tax. For the exact same reasons, EVs should pay road tax too. NB. I’m not saying that road space-time should be the only measure.

          • The point is, the UK roads are paid for by everyone, not particularly by drivers of cars. We all fund them, whether we have a car or not.

            Hence someone with no car and a bike can reasonably say, I am paying for it, I want it designed and managed for safe use by me, on a bike, or walking.

            Whereas at the moment in effect we are all subsidizing cars, whether we have one or not, by building roads no-one else can safely or pleasantly use.

          • michel,
            If you eat food, or have clothes, or live in a structure, you have benefitted from the existence of the roads.

            On a separate note, I remember a study from many years ago about road taxes. Large trucks pay many more times the tax than passenger vehicles. So, are they overpaying? No, they are underpaying. The damage to roads (and thus expenses) is much higher the heavier the weight of the vehicle. [placing a 1 lb weight on your kitchen counter and then removing it ten thousand different times will not damage the counter like putting a 10,000 lb weight on it one time – obviously over-dramatic, but you all should get the point.]

          • SN –

            Yes, you’re right, even if we do not drive cars on them, we all to some extent use the road network indirectly.

            I was correcting what I thought was the author’s assumption about road tax. It is often still assumed that the car licensing tax in the UK is the old road tax, and that it funds the road system, and that therefore cars and drivers and trucks too have a right to exclusive use.

            So you still hear the remark that bikes have no place on the roads because they are not licensed, don’t pay the road tax and so do not contribute to the road network.

            And this is false, has been since 1937, which is when the hypothecated Road Tax vanished, and roads from then on (actually and earlier) have been funded out of general taxation.

            To which the vehicle licensing tax contributes of course, but a very small proportion, and it just goes into the overall budget.

          • Round here it’s hilly. Very hilly. That doesn’t stop the cyclists. They are fit.

            Round here cyclists are causing vast amounts of pollution and inefficiency.

            Just today I followed a lorry that was unable to overtake a cyclist for four miles. Sometimes it’s less but that journey almost always involves one and it’s not, by a long reach, the only such journey round here. Behind the lorry were 20+ other vehicles that were hopelessly, horrendously inefficient during the 10+ minutes it took us all to overtake the cyclist.

            The cyclist believed he was the most efficient human on the road. In the time I spent behind him I reckoned – on a napkin – he was causing fuel overuse at a rate of about 100 yards per gallon (not liter) but he wasn’t paying for it, so, there’s that.

            The government made much more money out of us ICE suckers for that journey. So there’s that, too.

            An ebike, on the other hand, would have been a lot less costly to follow and far less sweaty for the protagonist 🙂

            Such a shame there is nowhere near enough copper/lithium/rare earth metals on the planet to provide us all with an electric vehicle.

          • Henry Galt: the cyclist who caused the traffic hold-up you describe should have stopped and let the motor vehicles pass – a case of bad manners, and I say this as a cyclist myself.
            There are however also motorists who fail to make proper progress and hold traffic up – typically glancing at their passengers and waving their arms around as they chatter, oblivious to the seething queue behind them. Will they pull over and let others through? Of course not!

        • Carbon500: In your world, do roads appear magically, free of charge?
          In your world, do roads take no damage from weather or time?

          Your desire to have someone else subsidize your hobby is duly noted.

          PS: If you are putting weight on the road, you are doing damage. Just because you can’t see it immediately doesn’t prove that it’s not there.
          PPS: Just look at any bike path that hasn’t been maintained in a few years for proof of how wrong you are.

          • Roads deteriorate from lack of use too. They need the compression of vehicles over the pavement to keep them compressed. Else cracks let water in and grasses take hold.

            If cyclists were the only traffic on the road, they would not compress the pavement enough to keep it from deteriorating.

          • MarkW: I trust that you’re joking when you suggest that people on bicycles damage tarmac cycle paths.
            Here, easily found on the internet, is reality:
            Asphalt typically lasts a long time, but it is consistently subjected to conditions that cause damage. There are many causes (listed below) which include weather and construction problems.
            Heavy traffic: heavy delivery vehicles put a lot of pressure on asphalt roads. Consistent stress on asphalt causes different types of cracks and leads to the formation of potholes if not repaired properly.
            Water: settling on the top of roads can wear on the asphalt and cause initial cracks. If water sinks into already formed cracks, it can cause further damage in the base layer.
            Oxidation: when asphalt oxidises it breaks down, becoming less flexible and more rigid. A lack of flexibility makes asphalt more susceptible to cracks, particularly when paired with heavy traffic.
            UV rays: UV rays break down asphalt binder and cause it to become brittle. This is one of the causes of encountering loose gravel on asphalt roads.
            Construction issues: Problems with the initial installation of asphalt can cause many issues down the line. Weak asphalt mixtures, too much or too little asphalt layering and uneven spreading of asphalt can cause crumbling, cracks and unevenness in asphalt roads.
            Oil stains: oil leaks from parked cars can seep into asphalt and ruin the top layers. If oil sits in the asphalt for too long, it will become very difficult to remove or repair.
            Earth settlement: due to the forces of nature, the earth underneath the asphalt can shift or settle over time. Settlement can cause unevenness or dips in roads and cracks.

        • Carbon500

          Do you pay for the growing number of cycle lanes congesting the country? Have you ever seen the congestion caused by the Cycle lane on Lower Thames Street in London, amongst many others?

          No?

          Thought not.

          • HotScot: I suggest that if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em, as the old saying goes!
            I cycled to work and back for 22 years in all weathers, and used quiet back streets to avoid the traffic. I never got in anyone’s way, and they never got in mine.
            The problems in London are I suggest not caused by cyclists, but useless politicians and road planners. There is of course no shortage of dim-witted and/or aggressive motorists and cyclists.
            Consideration for others from both wouldn’t go amiss. As a motorist and cyclist, I make a point of being courteous to other road users, whatever their mode of transport – for example, I give cyclists plenty of room when overtaking in my car, and if I’m on my bike and a motorist stops to let me through at an awkward road junction, I make sure to always acknowledge the driver with a friendly wave. Less of the ‘us and them’ attitude is needed. Cyclists and motorists are people with families, friends, and lives – we all have to get through life as best we can.

          • Hopefully you make sure to wave in such a way as to not be mistaken for a different kind of hand gesture. 😉

      • Michel, where is the vast amount of lithium going to come from? What is the cost of uograding the whole of the uk, so super chargers can be fitted?

        Yes these are all valid points. We need better battery technology. But we could make a start before then with low or zero emission zones in key residential and working areas. Its a question of priorities. Go to some city where cars have been temporarily excluded. It will open your eyes.

        Why can’t cyclists pay tax, why is it the car driver who has to pay tax for the roads to be fixed?

        There has been no road tax, an hypothecated tax for roads, since 1937. There is no particular reason why cyclists should pay tax any more than any other person doing anything in general. Cars do not fund roads in the UK. They are funded out of general taxation.

        How will transportation work in the city? Food deliveries, police, ambulance, fire trucks? Will food be bought to the city limits, then unloaded to be reload in to electric vehicles?

        There probably have to be exemptions and permitted use for ICE.

        Also, who will buy millions of people a new electric car? I can’t afford one.

        No. There will be fewer cars on the road, and more and safer walking and biking. And mass transportation.

        • No. There will be fewer cars on the road, and more and safer walking and biking. And mass transportation.

          That’s all and well for a city dweller where distances between destinations are small and thus walkable or bike-able in a reasonable time frame, and there’s a large enough number of people travelling between the destinations to make mass transit viable for longer distances. But not so much for the rural and suburban areas where distances between destinations would take too long to walk or bike but the number of people that have to travel between those destination at the same time is too small for viable mass transit. There’s a reason mass transit options are so few out in most rural and some suburban areas and it isn’t because rural/suburban citizens don’t care about the environment.

      • More to the point, a 1,000lb car battery requires the digging up around 500,000 tons of mother earth, somewhere on the planet.

      • Sunny October 15, 2019 at 2:43 am

        Michel, [ ]

        Why can’t cyclists pay tax, why is it the car driver who has to pay tax for the roads to be fixed?

        Because only SWITZERLAND demands number plates on velos ( velocities ) aka bicycles:

        “Should cyclists have number plates?

        Cyclists should have to pay road tax and insurance like everyone else. Give them a number plate, so they can tracked when they cause accidents. The same should apply to mobility vehicles – they need number plates and should be taxed and insured.

        Bikes should be registered and cyclists taxed and insured – GovYou”

    • ” Just find some other way to raise the money.”

      There are only two sources – you – or me !

      I’d rather it was you.

    • You move the health issues to the 3rd world because manufacturing the car, especially the battery which has it’s own health risks. As a UK citizen that isn’t your problem but it isn’t good news for everyone in the world.

    • Do electric vehicles create ozone? I’m wondering about that because when electricity discharges across air, ozone is produced. I’m not sure if this is the case for EV’s, but generally, electric motors create some ozone. It would be ironic if after having taxed and banned ICE vehicles off the roads to stop pollution, you end up with the “ozone scare”.

      • ???????
        What century is this?

        Have you ever been around an electric motor? I mean any time in your life, when a motor was running. If you have, did you smell ozone?

      • Ozone is created by (let’s seriously simplify this) brushes creating miniature lightning bolts as they transfer energy from coil to commutator.

        Many electric vehicles use brushless DC motors, effectively a digitally-controlled pulsed AC motor — no brushes, no lightning bolts, no ozone.

    • michel

      Whilst I agree that electric cars are potentially helpful in cities, why must that policy be suffered by the rest of the country where in rural ares air quality poses no threat whatsoever?

      Rural folk exist quite well with petrol/diesel powered cars, indeed, life would not be possible for many without them and electric cars simply cannot do the job needed.

      • I think they can do the job well enough, with some adaptation. The range is OK for most uses most of the time. The problem is they are too expensive. That will probably change. I also agree that battery production is a real problem, the implication is that you cannot have as many cars as we have today. You just can’t make enough batteries.

        I somewhat agree that rural areas are not top priority, though plenty of them are being destroyed by cars too.

        Though, visit some tourist destination in the Uk in high summer, and you find immediately that increased traffic is an horrendous problem.

        But I am not evangelizing for electric. The issue is improving the air and noise and safety of the lived environment. Electric will play a different role in different places. But lots of other things too, like speed restriction, bikeways, walkways, car free zones, not using living places as through roads.

        • michel

          I would evangelise about electric cars if they had proper solutions to real problems e.g. over 40% of UK households do not have off street parking. The government maintains they can use lamp posts however, they all must be substantially upgraded which will cost money the project does not justify. Furthermore, in our semi suburban village, there are likely 20 cars per lamp post in places, that just isn’t going to work. Then of course there is the prospect of vandalism with youngsters forcibly removing charging cables from cars just for sport, and of course, cables tens of metres long to reach the furthest car from the lamp post.

          As a family we regularly travelled home to Scotland with kids, dogs and luggage, and the cheapest most convenient means of doing that was a 500 mile, 8 hour drive. That can’t be achieved with an EV. And if the Tesla type fast charger is used, that degrades the battery rather quickly which will drastically increase the cost of ownership.

          In addition to which, the manufacture of a single 1,000lb EV battery requires the excavation of 500,000 tons of earth. They don’t do the planet any favours whatsoever. Then there’s rare eart mineral excavation which already employs child labour, and the enormous amount of mining undertaken will be conducted under uncontrolled conditions civilised countries have no control over; so no workers rights, no safety protocols, low wages etc.

        • michel, your posts revel a very city-centric world view. The world is a lot bigger outside the city, and the range of most electric vehicles simply is *NOT* sufficient for the daily requirements of many rural citizens. And it’s those rural citizens that produce the food that you city dwellers would starve without. so saying they’re “not top priority” frankly shows that chaswarnertoo description that you took offense to, while rude, was apparently not unfounded. Try thinking outside your city box once in a while.

      • Yes, lorries and buses in cities are a real problem. Possibly natural gas would be a first step, very low emission.

        The aim should not be going to low CO2 emissions to avert global warming. It should be to lower particulate and NO2 emissions to save lungs. And it should also be to give the streets, or some of them, back to people to walk in and bike in.

        If we had started from scratch to design neighborhoods, and someone had proposed the present system as a reasonable or optimal solution, we would have thought him insane. Yet we continue to refuse to change it for something more rational and pleasant and safer.

        • The aim should not be going to low CO2 emissions to avert global warming

          why should they aim to be doing anything to avert a fantasy? Because that’s what man-caused global warming is – pure fantasy. (natural warming of the globe, which has been happening since the depth of the little ice age, on the other hand, is something that no action of mankind can avoid – so again why should they aim for something they can’t do anything about?)

    • The car provides a measure of freedom of travel.
      A person is free to decide where and when they travel.
      The sacred part of cars is the independence that they provide.

    • michel,
      In Europe, as in Calif. and other places in the US, the lower and middle income people aka worker bees, cannot afford to live in many cities. It is getting so that only the upper middle class and wealthy can live there. See Yellow Vest protestors who were people who had to live far out of the cities and drive to work. Macron’s fuel tax increase hit them hardest, thus, the protests.
      If the worker bees can’t get into the cities, the upper crust will have to do their own housekeeping, lawn work and there will only be self-service restaurants etc.
      I doubt if the anointed ones, such as you seem to think of yourself, would like that.

    • Michel writes;

      “And there is no argument against it based on revenue losses from gasoline taxes. Just find some other way to raise the money.”

      The article under discussion writes;

      “The think tank recommends implementing taxes on EVs soon…”

      There you go. One step ahead of you there, Michel.

      As for your arguments about taxes and health, yes we would like to think that, wouldn’t we, but let us discuss that topic in a bit more detail.

      First up I would like to mention something that our glorious K.Rudd government brought in, which was a change in the way pre-mixed cans of spirits were taxed. There was some loop hole where they were taxed less than other drinks and hence from a cost benefit analysis they were the best things to drink when you went out on a Friday night.

      Now being sweet and sugary they were considered ‘Girl Drinks’ and the health concern was that young female drinkers would binge drink on these and be a ‘hidden health burden(tm)’ on the rest of the country, hence closing the tax loophole would increase the price and stop young women drinking so much…. AND raise an extra bucket of money to help the budget.

      I paraphrase, but this is almost exactly how they described this law change. It would reduce consumption (win for health) AND raise money (win for public spending). Anyone spot the flaw in this logic? The Australian MSM didn’t.

      The other point of discussion is the good old ‘hidden health burden(tm)’ and associated guilt trip parliament and the MSM like to drag out whenever they need something to distract. The argument is basically that the member of the public does something they personally enjoy, they become ‘unhealthy’, they then end up in the public hospital system which is a ‘hidden health burden(tm)’ and costs the rest of the country MILLIONS!

      Well counter argument. Unhealthy people die younger and hence don’t end up in the public hospital system in their older years costing the rest of the country millions with their bladder infections. Let us be brutally pragmatic here, you are either 100% private health or at some point in your life you are going to be a burden on the public health system because no one is ever 100% healthy. Pragmatic. Also pragmatic is the point that if you don’t die before your time from health conditions related to enjoying your life when you were younger, you are going to go on the pension and again, be a burden on the rest of the country. You want to get really pragmatic and brutal then you should encourage your population to be only healthy enough to last till retirement age and then pass on just before their first pension payment. Ethically paste, but from a pragmatic point of view it is incredibly sensible.

      Also, while I am annoying people, we should stop building bike paths unless bicycle riders start paying user tax. They are freeloaders on the system. Tax the selfish buggers.

      • Craig from Oz: I live in Nottingham, in the UK. The city council doesn’t build bike paths. It selects wide areas of pavement, paints a white line down the middle, and then calls one half a bike track, and the other a pavement!

    • More rationing? How come every solution to pretty much everything by government is rationing?

      Not saying you are a socialist but socialists love rationing stuff. Getting the job as gatekeeper can be quite rewarding. Less flights, less car travel, less heating, less lighting, less cooling, less meat, less water. All to be rationed by the well meaning bureaucrats.

      Remember what CS Lewis had to say about this :-

      Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

  3. Reasonable people have been proposing for decades that automobiles should be taxed based on miles driven. We now have the GPS technology to measure miles and the cell system to automatically send the data to the taxing authorities. This would also permit congestion pricing.

    • Define reasonable people?

      I don’t even get why anyone would consider that good and it certainly isn’t fair for the poor. Stupid rich yuppies who can afford to live close to the cities and don’t drive much pay less … a real vote winner !!!!.

      You can propose all the stupid ideas you like, now try getting elected pushing them.

    • Taxes based on consumption are reasonable. Taxes based on distance traveled are regressive.
      The energy efficient vehicles are rewarded for being efficient while energy hogs pay more.

      • Indeed. basing the tax on miles does nothing to encourage energy efficient vehicle, you travel 100 miles you get taxed on 100 miles regardless of how energy inefficient your vehicle is in travelling that distance. Consumption based taxes, on the other hand, encourage energy efficient vehicles, as the more efficient your vehicle is the less it will consume and thus the less you’ll have to fork over to the taxman.

        If you make consumption more expensive, people look for ways to consume less while still accomplishing their needs that drive their consumption (IE switch to more energy efficient vehicles). Whereas if you make travelling distances more expensive, you merely punish those who have to travel distances for a living. If you have to travel x miles to get to work, or your business requires transporting goods long distances (for example: in order to getting food from the rural areas where it’s grown to the “reasonable” city folks who come up with these cockamamie ideas) there’s not much that a person can do to change the number of miles they have to drive to accomplish those things.

        Here’s a really “reasonable” idea, if these mile taxes pass in your country than the rural folk who grow the food should make the city folk come to them to get it instead of transporting it to the cities. Let the city folk who came up with the tax be forced to be the ones who have to pay it.

    • Reasonable people have been proposing for decades that automobiles should be taxed based on miles driven.

      reasonable people don’t propose such unreasonable ideas, so epic fail in your opening sentence. mile driven taxes are highly regressive (hurt the working poor the most) and shreds what little privacy one has left in this day and age.

  4. The underestimate of HMG’s income from fuel is because the tax from the oil Cos. has not been included.
    From 126p per litre HMG’s share is actually 83pppl, a rate of 200%.

  5. “the government will see a whopping loss of 28 billion pounds”

    We’re already paying 10 billion more than that every year to just be a member of the EU….

  6. Total non-issue.
    The network of congestion taxes will just be expanded and every tachometer is read once a year at the MOT. The Crown isn’t at risk of missing out on revenue. Even without “autobahn maut” or gps systems.

    • Which is basically a tax on the poor because they invariably have to live further out of a city and commute more. At least with fuel tax they can buy smaller cars and try and use less fuel but taxing per distance there is no escape.

        • Yes, mass * miles driven, potentially with surcharges for time of use in congested areas. Note that this should apply to all vehicles, including shipments / deliveries, busses, and bicycles. Lane-use / congestion-factor could also be contributing discussion for size of vehicle.

      • Washington state is/was proposing a 2.4 cent/mile road use “fee” as an alternative to the current 50 cent/gallon tax. Basically, this works out to be the same amount in taxes as if you were driving a 21mpg pickup truck – hybrid owners would be paying the same in taxes as I do with my 1/4-ton pickup truck.

        The real game that WA is playing is that the state constitution requires gas tax revenue to be used for road maintenance and construction. The new road use “fee” is not considered to be a “gas tax”, so the revenue would come into the general fund – this money could be spent on anything the politicians want and not necessarily road maintenance.

        It would probably be spent on our wasteful public transit systems.

        See: https://waroadusagecharge.org/
        https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/highway-robbery-a-new-mileage-tax-would-divert-money-from-where-its-needed-most/

    • Seems like it would be far easier just to tax electricity more per kWh, after a certain low-tax ‘allotment’ to capture a tax on EVs, and continue taxing petrol at the pump. Pay-as-you-go is the only way many people can budget. There will be h to pay if tax-time comes and large numbers of people simply don’t have the funds to pay. Then what? Put them in debtors’ prison? Confiscate their vehicles, effectively putting them out of work?

      • That brings up a very good point. EVs are already taxed. There are taxes built into your electricity bill. Taxing per mile instead of a tax on fuel (gas) doesn’t do away with the tax on your electric, so EV drivers get taxed twice (when they charge up and for each mile driven). Taxing per mile *along side* a tax on fuel (gas) would similarly double tax ICE drivers (hopefully I haven’t just given any politicians out there any ideas 😉 ).

  7. If we average the current consumption in residential homes to 1kW, that would be 24kWh a day.
    Not knowing much about EVs, I assume you use about 24kWh a day spread over 2 vehicles per home. All electric small vehicles would therefore double the electricity transport in the grid. But it may in reality be much worse. Considering that most people will charge their EVs right after the come home and start the electric stove, the TV, the lights, etc., there may be a very high peak load. There may be ways around this, but my question here is if and to what extend the grid has to be upgraded and the cost associated with it?
    Obviously, on top of that, a lot more power will have to be generated.
    In case of trucks, 16ton and above, the consumption is about ten times more than the small family car.

    Some commenters claim that EV invasion is for cleaner air in the cities. Whether valid or not, the Moscowites once tried to “solve” this by demanding that all vehicles registered in Moscow should run on LPG (Liquid Petrol Gas). I find this an affordable idea, but still unnecessary considering the very clean petrol/gasoline and diesel cars we have today.

    So what are EVs running on? Some would say electricity, but I see electricity more like a transport of energy. So in reality the EVs in the UK are running on a combination of wood pellets from mainly US, natural gas from mainly Norway, nuclear power from mainly UK and France and finally the intermittent weather dependent wind and solar supplement.

    As the article point out, the economical aspect of the government’s virtue signalling, aught to be laid out to the voters. In it must be included all the aspects involved in transportation, road maintenance, production and supply chain infrastructure, plus security during various crises situations.
    Crises situations: Blackout may be more frequent with less on-demand power generators, so local emergency diesel and petrol/gasoline generators would be massively needed for hospitals, emergency service, police, water supplies, etc. to avoid the too many deaths and havoc.

    Glad I currently live in the countryside with a full 3000 liter diesel tank for the tractor, car and reserve generator (5kW 3P), plus 40 cubic meter chopped firewood for the central heating.

    • It is likely that charging will soon be ‘smart’ enough that if you plug in on coming home, charging will be spread throughout the evening/night.

      but you don’t account for the many people who will be able to charge at work, in the station car park all day, at the supermarket while shopping, outside the Gym, etc.

      Also, remember that currently at least 39% of UK electricity is actually solar/wind – and rising, plus we hardly use any coal power for most of the year and indeed will be down to just 3 coal powered plants next spring.

      • but you don’t account for the many people who will be able to charge at work, in the station car park all day, at the supermarket while shopping, outside the Gym, etc

        Which are a tiny miniscule portion of the population at present. Of all the many people I personally know, only 1 of them worked at a place that they could charge their car at work (they worked at an electric utility, and though the company had set up the capacity to charge many vehicles, they were one of the few who worked there that actually had a car, a plug-in hybrid, that could take advantage of that perk – i.e. there was plenty of unused charging ports as only a couple of vehicles were using them). To my knowledge, none of the car parks, shopping centers or gyms in my suburban area have places for EVs to charge. Maybe there are some in the nearest city, but I certainly didn’t notice any when last I visited. grant YMMV as they say, depending on the community you live in. I suspect my community is more typical than one where every car park, supermarket and gym are supplying charging stations at present.

      • And you, griff, don’t account for what will happen when the electricity goes out for days (as recently happened in California, for example) or even weeks or more (as has happened to places like Porta Rico in the wake of hurricanes). Those people dependent on their EVs won’t be able to charge at work, in the car park, at the supermarket, outside the gym or anywhere else. They’ll essentially be trapped in their homes/community as they won’t be able to travel any real distance away.

    • “Glad I currently live in the countryside with a full 3000 liter diesel tank for the tractor, car and reserve generator (5kW 3P), plus 40 cubic meter chopped firewood for the central heating.”

      It sounds like you are ready! 🙂

  8. The actual tax taken from every litre of fuel at the forecourt is £0.80 or $1US.
    There will be issue with changing the tax system to ensure that level is maintained as more EVs hit the road, the tax will be levied on journey miles. The real issue is where will the electricity come from to charge up the cars, trucks, railways, homes, tractors, etc?
    Further to that basic question, where will the materials needed to remake society come from and what source of energy is going to be used?
    Never fear about where tax revenue can be taken from.

    • No the issue is the tax per mile affects those living long distance from work (usually the poor). You try this sort of thing in Australia it will be seen as a form of “road toll” that targets those forced to live in outer city suburbs. It will promptly see you out of government because you would not stand a chance in hell of getting elected. I am not in the UK but I suspect your simple solution will play out in a similar way because the economics in most cities plays out the same way.

      • Ldb,
        Rest assured, the tax burden will be hidden until it actually gets levied.
        The problem all developed economies face is how do you reduce the ever growing demand for more money by self appointed government officials.
        How a Tory government came to advance this regressive policy for the removal of fossil fuel use is a real puzzle for those of us with IQs above our shoe size.

  9. The way to offset tax loses is for government to reduce spending. I also believe that will happen when the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars.

  10. The study assumes the tax applied to petrol/diesel cars will not eventually carry over to electric cars. Once the tax take starts to drop the fuel duty will be replaced by road pricing with different weightings for the energy source of the vehicle and the tax flow will be restored.

  11. The article misses the whole point as to the cost of replacing ICE with EV. It is not the petrol taxes, as assuming the country’s GDP stays the same you can find something else to tax. It is that such a switch will make the UK a much poorer place. GDP growth occurs when you create products that people want better, faster, cheaper or more of them so they can enjoy a higher standard of living, namely more of what they want. With EV you have forced onto people a worse product that is more expensive that will require vast switching costs (think charging stations and a much more robust grid instead of petrol stations and the petrol infrastructure), and the vast switching costs will mean the population of the UK has much less money for other thangs they want (like a vacation to the much richer US where they will still have ICE).

  12. Why bother with EV’s in the first place. See many arguments above explaining why.
    But the overriding issue is that there will never be sufficient electricity to make all vehicles electric by 2050.
    Without electricity all nothing will work.

    • Just speak to some of the hundreds of thousands of California bay area folk who lost power for 4 days last week about what happens without electricity. Tesla put out an advisory to their customers in the region to tell them to top off their tanks er… batts because they wouldn’t be able to recharge when the power grid is turned off. One supposes you likely couldn’t hook up your cellphone extender battery to help out, eh?

    • If that is so, my wild guess is that it is because with current battery storage it will be difficult to keep the Black Caps running all day.

      Back in early 70’s I went to school in Bexhill in southern England. Back then they had electrical milk trucks. That seemed to work perfectly, all the stop and go. Believe they used Pb or NiFe batteries, can’t remember.

  13. Governments excel at spending and taxing. They will always find “innovative” ways to keep doing both.

  14. Caught up in the Brexit saga was the UK’s desire to still have access to the Galileo GPS system. Not many people know that the real desire for this is nothing to do with military security but because they want to use it for road pricing. The US will not allow their GPS system to be used for that.

    • User pays for using something after paying the tax for using the same thing. Then the tax on fuel for using something. And so on…

      Might as well pay all income to “Central Control” and let “Central Control” control everything centrally. Oh wait…we have tried that several times and each time it has failed SPECTACULARLY!

    • It doesn’t make sense to tax both the electricity to recharge the car batteries AND tax the miles driven…the creation of the bureaucracy for a “distance driven” department would be a huge overhead burden and is technically redundant….

  15. No they will just put more tax on electricity it’s what they do. Then no o e will be able afford to drive.

  16. If as many suspect it gets a little colder I doubt these policies will actually last till 2050.

  17. It’s Great Britain!
    Form a service and charge a service fee for every licensed driver in a household; actual driving is not necessary.

    Of course, roads and bridges will get worse.

    Perhaps, England should privatize their alleged services; as the fees charged no longer are commensurate with services provided? BBC comes to mind.

  18. People who think that governments can run out of things to tax are fools. The Beatles explained it all 50 years ago, with a great guitar riff:

    If you drive a car, car, I’ll tax the street
    If you try to sit, sit, I’ll tax your seat
    If you get too cold, cold, I’ll tax the heat
    If you take a walk, walk, I’ll tax your feet

  19. Some perspective-
    https://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-solar-insolation.htm
    “The total solar insolation of the Earth’s outer atmosphere from direct sunlight averages about 1,366 watts per square meter at an angle of 90 degrees over the course of a year, the majority of which is in the form of visible light. Attenuation of the sunlight as it passes through the atmosphere reduces this to about 1,000 watts per square meter at an angle of 90 degrees by the time it reaches the Earth’s surface. This figure steadily drops as a person moves to higher latitudes and decreases at times of day further from solar noon, dropping to almost nothing at night. The average insolation of the Earth as a whole over the course of a year is around 250 watts per square meter.”

    …and currently solar panels and inverters would be lucky if they can deliver one fifth of that so welcome to 50 watts per square metre. Bad luck if you live in hi-rise and have to share the roof city slickers. So that’s what you’ve got to charge your Tesla and run the household and that’s on average? There isn’t enough lithium in the world to smooth that out and run a reliable power supply let alone completely change our transport fleet to EVs with the output.

    That way lies utter fantasy so desist immediately and start building nuke power plants as we need affordable mobile IT and cordless power tools, etc with lithium batteries if the plant food bothers you that much. These people need to be on lithium alright because they’re off the planet with their EV dreaming and sun worshipping. It’s nice to have around but it’s 93 million miles away you idiots!

  20. “$35 Billion: UK Faces Huge Loss From Electric Vehicle Adoption”

    Oh jeesh, pure scare-mongering. One thing the UK, US, Europe, etc, etc can quickly do is impose new tax laws.

    • The issue is you’ve lost the means to tax directly at source. Technology can work but there’s always the risk of circumventing it. The big noise would come from simply applying a blanket coverage on electricity full stop so everyone pays regardless of ownership unless you have a free tier based on existing typical household usage. It all gets messy though.

  21. Economically and practically ICE vehicles will not disappear by 2050 in the UK. Population/industrial growth alone will negate any changeover to EVs just like it has negated adoption of wind and solar powers’ ability to reduce CO2 emissions. Those cities that force EV use will wither up and die unless they can replace all practical aspects of ICE vehicles with either economical and easy to use mass transit or the ability to provide that much electricity on demand and affordable EVs. Businesses will just vacate.

  22. Amazing that Brits have put up with a tax of 58 pence per liter of “petrol” for so long. A gallon is 3.785 liters, and at current exchange rates a pound sterling is worth $1.26 US, meaning that British motorists pay $2.76 per gallon in taxes, which is more than the average price of gasoline in the US (including taxes). At 1.269 pounds per liter, “petrol” in Britain costs the equivalent of $6.05 per gallon, which is much higher than even in the People’s Republic of California.

    Even if ALL gasoline and diesel-burning vehicles in Britain were replaced by plug-in electric vehicles, electric power plant capacity would have to be increased to charge their batteries, which begs the question of what will be the new power source. A typical gasoline-powered engine is about 35% efficient, meaning that about 35% of the energy obtained by burning the gasoline is converted into work to move the car.

    Typical electric motors are about 80% efficient, and a combined-cycle natural gas plant (where hot low-pressure gases leaving a turbine are used to make steam, which drives another turbine) has an efficiency of about 60%, meaning that if combined-cycle natural gas plants are used to charge electric vehicles, about 0.60 * 0.80 = 48% of the energy from burning natural gas is converted to work to move the cars, which is an improvement over gasoline engines.

    However, if coal-fired power plants are used to charge the cars, they are only about 35% efficient, meaning that only 0.35 * 0.80 = 28% of the energy from coal is converted to work to move the cars. There would be less emissions of CO2 (and other pollutants) from gasoline-powered vehicles than from coal-fired plants used to charge electric vehicles.

    Since the UK is relatively flat with very few waterfalls, there is not much hydroelectric power produced there. Nuclear power plants obviously do not produce CO2 emissions, but they are expensive to build, although neighboring France gets about 75% of its electricity from nuclear power plants.

    If the UK really wants to reduce CO2 emissions, they might want to try natural-gas powered buses, which already operate in some US cities, with the gas tanks refilled by qualified personnel during the “wee hours of the morning” when there is little demand for buses. Buses use less energy per passenger mile than passenger cars, so they could reduce overall CO2 emissions in congested areas.

    But, whatever is done, lawmakers need to beware of unintended consequences!

  23. There’s more than meets the eye to the recent decision by Dyson to cancel his electric car (drivable Hoover) project:

    https://www.bbc.com/news/business-50004184

    He must have seen that the economics of electric cars are destroyed by the catastrophically rapid loss of performance and thus value of the most expensive part of the e-car – the fuel cell battery. After a 4-5 year lease term the car will be close to worthless. The lease companies won’t touch them.

    • Dyson makes a very good vacuum cleaner.

      I’ve had a battery-operated, handheld Dyson vacuum cleaner for at least six years and the original battery is still going strong. It is the perfect instrument for picking up dog hair (as long as you don’t use the powerhead, which gets plugged with dog hair pretty quickly, I just take the powerhead off and use it like that).

      I would definitely recommend a Dyson handheld vacuum cleaner.

      Speaking of vacuum cleaners, I have a puzzling situation here at my house. I have an Australian Shepard dog (seven years old) and summer is over around here and it is starting to get cold and my Australian Shepard is just shedding hair like crazy. Now I would think that if it is getting colder, the shedding should stop but that’s not what’s happening.

      I wonder if my Australian Shepard is confused about which hemisphere she is living in. She may think she is in Australia and summertime is coming on. 🙂

  24. I wonder if that total includes the nearly 1.8 billion GBP lost when the CPS tax ceases to produce revenue …

  25. Don’t they pay tax on electricity? If so, then the fuel equivalent is already being paid by the EV owners.

  26. “Johnson has a strategy to be put into place advocating investments made in EV production, energy reduction in all new homes, and the planting of one million trees to combat climate change.”
    Too bad this is counterproductive to the stated goals. Then, again, what else is new in CC?AGW Alarmism?
    ELECTRIC VEHICLES EMIT MORE CO2 THAN DIESEL ONES, GERMAN STUDY SHOWS
    * Date: 23/04/19
    http://bit.ly/2ZYdUXJ

  27. Unintended consequences abound. If you are in the UK, please correct any errors. I have not been there in an unfortunately long time.

    The push to EVs will simply make vehicles unaffordable to the masses (perhaps by intent, explaining why there’s no drive to increase power production or install charging points).
    So, far less income taxes collected from oil companies, very little from petrol sales at the pump, less from purchases of vehicles (sales tax? VAT?), and little from any yearly tax on registration or tags or whatever they may have.

    Further, local goverment counsels will lose millions coming in from traffic offenses and parking fines (it seems that any free parking there is very time-limited, after which fines accrue, even in private business parking lots). These fines seem to be the main sources of income for many local governments.

    If they try to go forward with the drive to remove vehicles from the road, they will need to implement a plethora of new taxes to recoup the revenue losses.

  28. Good to raise awareness of the taxes levied on gasoline… when comparing the costs. Actually I would like to see if this is a zero sums game. What are the taxes per mile equivalent between gasoline and electricity generation to charge the cars. It would be the amount of energy generation required to produce a charge on the car’s battery for a mile of travel.

  29. I wonder why nobody ever thinks of this. I know that the renewable and EV enthusiasts claim that fossil energy is subsidized but in reality, they are massive revenue items for the government of any industrial nation. Take away taxes on fossil fuels and vehicles and the amount of money available for all kinds of perks drops. Pay subsidies to EV’s and other Greenie pet projects and see a massive expense item that comes on top of falling revenues. There is only two ways. Higher taxes or massive social spending cuts. What’s it going to be?

  30. Hi Rudolph: It’s even worse, regarding what they mean when they say “subsidy” The subsidies in fossil fuel refer to expenses used to write off on their tax burden. But subsidies in so called “green” schemes refers to money given to them that is taken from someone else. It is a false equivalency.

    When I point this out, the response is usually an ad hominem attack… or their eyes cross and their ears turn red…

  31. UK Gov and local authorities have been salivating about “Congestion Charging” for years now. EV’s will simply make this road charging (pay per mile) inevitable. Job done, heaps more tax for the workers to pay.

  32. Here in NZ, we have had road user charges for many years for diesel-powered vehicles. Diesel is tax-free at the pump, but the owner must purchase a distance allowance, the cost being determined by vehicle size / loaded weight. Heavy trailers are separately charged. Hub-odometers are compulsory except on light vehicles which may use their in-built odometers. This was considered easier than squabbling over tax refunds for farm machinery, fishing boats, etc. The revenuers have already prodded the Government about bringing EVs into the fold.

  33. Sunny October 15, 2019 at 2:43 am

    Michel, [ ]

    Why can’t cyclists pay tax, why is it the car driver who has to pay tax for the roads to be fixed?

    Because only SWITZERLAND demands number plates on velos ( velocities ) aka bicycles:

    “Should cyclists have number plates?

    Cyclists should have to pay road tax and insurance like everyone else. Give them a number plate, so they can tracked when they cause accidents. The same should apply to mobility vehicles – they need number plates and should be taxed and insured.

    Bikes should be registered and cyclists taxed and insured – GovYou”

    https://www.google.com/search?q=Swiss+velos+number+plates&oq=Swiss+velos+number+plates&aqs=chrome.

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