7 March 2024

Spring 2024 Budget: No VAT Rate Cut on Public EV Charging

In an unsurprising move, the UK government has refused to budge on demands to lower the VAT threshold for public EV charging.

During his spring budget announcements, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was beaming with pride to declare the current freeze on fuel duty will be maintained for the next 12 months.

However, there was no such generosity towards cleaner, emissions-free electric vehicles as it was confirmed there are no plans to cut the VAT rate on EV charging.

Industry Experts Up in Arms

Quentin Wilson
Image credit: Quentin Wilson

As the news broke, various industry experts were quick to express their dismay at the lack of recognition for EV drivers.

Quentin Wilson, founder of campaign group FairCharge, expressed his disdain at the lack of help from the government to encourage motorists to switch to electric vehicles in favour of appeasing internal combustion engine vehicle owners during what will be a critical election year for the Tories:

"FairCharge is staggered that the Chancellor is prepared to spend £5 billion on a fuel duty freeze and continuation of the 5p cut, yet won't spend 125th of that, circa £40 million, on cutting the VAT on public EV charging.”

"Why wouldn't you support a drive for cleaner air in our towns and cities? Might it have something to do with an election, we wonder."

Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, added further weight to the argument stating:

“It’s simply unfair that EV owners without driveways should have to pay more for the privilege of improving air quality.

“It’s time for the Treasury to address this injustice and give electric vehicles the best chance of widespread adoption, rather than remaining the preserve of the wealthy.”

Industry Warnings

Many leading figures within the EV sector have reiterated that motorists without driveways are facing an “unfair burden” that will hamper the UK’s leveling up and net zero ambitions.

More than 30% of drivers have expressed that the cost of public EV charging is a key barrier to switching to an electric vehicle.

With the rate of VAT on public EV charging remaining at 20%, when compared to charging at home where VAT is applied at a rate of just 5%, there’s still a major disparity between the cost of owning and running an EV if you have a home charger or not.

Judging by the government’s response to pressure groups like FairCharge headed up by Quentin Wilson, it's clear they are not going to budge anytime soon.

Shared EV Charging Remains Cheapest Option

Joosup User During EV Charging SessionWith the UK government refusing to reduce the VAT burden on public EV charging, it still remains abundantly clear that the cheapest way to charge an electric car is at home.

For those without a home charger due to having no driveway or the means to install one, using a neighbour’s charger in the community remains the cheapest, most economically viable option for those wanting to switch to an EV.

Apps like Joosup will clearly play a pivotal role in facilitating that option, with the majority of the shared chargers on the network costing less than the cheapest public chargepoint operators like ConnectedKerb.

Presently, the lowest public charging rates sit around the £0.50 per kWh range.

Some Joosup hosts are offering EV charging significantly cheaper, at rates as low as £0.14 per kWh.

At rates such as this, an EV with a battery capacity of roughly 70kW will cost as little as £8.00 to charge to around 80%.

The Future is Sharing

As another budget announcement comes and goes, there’s very little sign that the present incumbent Conservative government has any intention of reducing VAT on public electric car charging fees.

Simon Burge, founder and CEO of Joosup, believes this will be the case of the foreseeable future:

“I have no doubt that VAT on public EV charging will not budge any time soon. It’s clear this Tory government has no intention of upsetting its core voter base. With an election expected this coming October, they are desperately trying to cling to power by appeasing the electorate at the expense of net zero targets."

As Simon continues, he clearly believes that the government should not be relied upon to help the UK to reach it’s green targets:

“Yet again, this government persistently fails the public when it comes to EV charging and the transition to zero tailpipe emission vehicles. Time and again, they over promise and under deliver. I have no doubt that the private sector will have the final say when it comes to the transition to electric vehicles.”

“Apps like Joosup were created precisely for this reason. We believe the future is headed towards peer-to-peer charger sharing where decent, like minded individuals will create a broadening network of bookable, affordable and reliable EV charging."

“In years to come, booking a charger at a nearby neighbour’s house or at destination on a Joosup user’s driveway will be second nature. When that time comes, it will be a wonderfully empowering experience that will make EV ownership a joy and pleasure, without the reliance on self-serving politicians to do the right thing. That time cannot come any sooner.”

Become a Part of Our Fast Growing Community

If you’re fed up with this government failing to give EV owners a level playing field, then sign up to Joosup today and become our latest member.

Whether you want to rent out your EV charger, find bookable charge points or your next journey, or even both, register an account today.

The Joosup app is available for both Apple iPhones as well as Android phones.

It takes just two minutes to join. Within moments, you can start sharing your charger or book a charger for your next trip.

Spring 2024 Budget: No VAT Rate Cut on Public EV Charging
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Spring 2024 Budget: No VAT Rate Cut on Public EV Charging
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt confirms in his spring 2024 budget that there will be no VAT rate cut on public EV charging.
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