A NEW kind of financial incentive scheme is needed to encourage more people to switch to low carbon vehicles, according to the Campaign for Better Transport, which has launched a report into the possibility of a ‘feebate’ scheme in theUK.
A ‘feebate’ scheme works by giving buyers of low emission cars a significant rebate – potentially several thousand pounds – while buyers of high emission gas-guzzlers pay an extra fee.
With the UK Government committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% on 1990 levels by 2050, electric and hybrid vehicles are one of the main planks of the Government’s carbon reduction strategy.
However, despite several financial incentives designed to encourage the uptake of low carbon cars, including graduated Vehicle Excise Duty (VED), Plug-In Car Grants and graduated company car taxation rules, there has been little take up so far, with just over 1,000 vehicles bought through existing incentives.
With the Government currently reviewing VED, the Campaign for Better Transport believes the time is right to look at how it could be used to promote greener vehicles and a ‘feebate’ scheme, says the organisation, should be one of the options considered.
Stephen Joseph, the Campaign for Better Transport’s chief executive, said: ‘The UK has the opportunity to become a leader in electric and hybrid vehicles, which could help the Government meet its aim to rebalance and green the economy.
‘Our report suggests that now is the perfect time to consider a more radical approach and a ‘feebate’ system could work. The Treasury could learn from the operation of a similar scheme inFranceand develop one that is cost-neutral and encourages the take-up of low emission vehicles.’