Mitsubishi UK boss Lance Bradley has accused the government of not having “a clear and consistent plan” for electric vehicles.
Bradley cited the vagaries of the new Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) that came into force on 1 April and mean that some versions of the brand’s best-selling Outlander PHEV plug-in hybrid, which has CO2 emissions of 41g/km, now costs nearly the same in VED as a Range Rover SDV8, which emits 219kg/km of CO2.
The Mitsubishi had a VED rate of £10 in the first year of ownership, compared with the Range Rover’s £1200. However, for the ensuing five years, both vehicles will attract a £310 supplement on top of their VED rates because they cost more than £40,000.
An Outlander PHEV owner will pay £130 in VED, plus the £310 supplement, making £440 per year. The Range Rover will attract £140 in VED, making £450 when the £310 supplement is added.
“It’s poorly thought through,” said Bradley. “It’s not very difficult to have an EV policy, but the new VED charging is muddled.”
Bradley’s frustration is exacerbated by the fact that the new VED rates contradict the government’s own attempts to encourage the take-up of hybrid and electric cars. It continues to provide subsidies for electric and hybrid vehicles, with the Outlander PHEV qualifying for a £2500 grant.