Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man to introduce electric vehicle tax in 2020

Electric car charging point
Image caption Owners of electric vehicles currently pay no vehicle tax

Owners of electric vehicles on the Isle of Man will face a new tax from April 2020, the infrastructure minister has said.

Zero emission vehicles, which are currently not taxed, will be subject to a £14 charge, Ray Harmer told Tynwald.

Mr Harmer said the tax was necessary as the amount collected from petrol and diesel vehicles would "rapidly decrease over the next 10 years".

The Isle of Man Green Party (IOMGP) said the tax was "a retrograde step".

There are currently 280 electric vehicles and 706 hybrid vehicles registered on the island.

The government has pledged to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040 as part of a move reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

'A difficult balance'

Speaking in Tynwald, Mr Harmer said while it was "good to incentivise", improvements in the technology would meant there would be "other reasons" for people switching to electric transport.

"We all know that we need to move to a new environment with electric vehicles and electric heaters and so forth, but we also have to raise vehicle duty to maintain our roads, so it is a difficult balance," he said.

"The highways need to be repaired and we need money to do that."

IOMGP's Andrew Langan-Newton said financial incentives were "important in encouraging the adoption of low carbon transport" and while a tax could "ultimately" be anticipated, removing the incentives before many people owned electric vehicles was "a retrograde step".

He also called for the government to introduce a grant or loan scheme "to assist lower earners in Isle of Man society in having access to electric vehicles".

More details of the new vehicle duty charge for electric vehicles are set to be brought to Tynwald in February 2020.

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