Nationwide road pricing would replace fuel duty if the government’s electric car revolution is a success, it is feared.
Ministers have unveiled a £250m plan, due to start in 2011, that would see incentives of up to £5000 for consumers to buy electric cars.
But the Treasury currently makes an estimated £22bn from fuel duty and £5bn from road tax (from which electric cars are exempt), and it will want to recoup lost revenue.
AA representative Paul Watters told Autocar: “Fuel duty is a big sum overall and we cannot bury our heads in the sand and expect a free lunch. If electric cars become mainstream then the government will make up the lost money with road pricing.”
The government also faces a string of problems that will need to be addressed if the scheme is to take off; one issue is how to recycle or dispose of the batteries on a large scale.