EV advocacy group FairCharge is calling for the UK to change what it calls outdated laws that are holding back the EV conversion industry.
By law, the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is required to retain CO2 emission ratings in vehicle logbooks for all cars built after 2001, even if they’ve been converted to electric power. Aftermarket conversions of ICE to EVs must still pay combustion rates of VED (road tax), are subject to higher ICE rates if entering zero-emission zones, and do not benefit from lower benefit-in-kind tax rates as all other EVs do.
“I’ve written to the DVLA for this counter-intuitive law to be changed,” said Quentin Willson, founder of FairCharge. “They claim their hands are tied by the Treasury, who insist that the original CO2 emissions declared by the manufacturer must always be retained even though the car has been converted to battery-electric. Changing this law would help kick-start the emerging EV conversion industry, and save many perfectly good combustion cars from the scrap heap. I’m also concerned that the Fire Services, who use the DVLA data, might not know if a road accident they are attending involves an electric vehicle.”
In answer to FairCharge’s letter, the DVLA replied: “Even when a car has been converted to electric propulsion, the DVLA is required by law to retain the CO2 emissions figure recorded at first registration. The DVLA has no discretion on the application of the law.”
“Changing the laws to correctly categorize ICE to EV conversions will help jump-start a strong and significant industry throughout the country, repurposing polluting combustion cars to clean electric power,” said Chris Hazell, founder and CEO of EV conversion system manufacturer Fellten. “The growth of this industry in the UK would also benefit the Treasury, as it would create employment opportunities for a wide range of professionals such as engineers, production teams, builders, installers, trainers and service specialists.”
“With the stroke of a pen, the Treasury can change this law for a very small cost and reap fresh tax receipts from a completely new industry,” says FairCharge. “France and America have financial incentives to encourage ICE to EV conversions, but the UK is still being held back in the EV space by archaic legislation like this. FairCharge is asking the Treasury to urgently examine this illogical law and change it to stimulate new jobs and green growth.”