You can sing the praises of electric vehicles until you’re blue in the face but if you really want people to discard their fossil-fuel powered cars, you have to hit them where it hurts: Their wallet. That’s the strategy Tesla is seemingly employing as it’s been discovered that Elon Musk’s EV company has been lobbying for harsher taxes on petrol and diesel in the UK. A proposal submitted by Tesla to the UK parliament last July outlines a fairly harsh approach to encouraging folks to either go all-in on an electric car or… walk.
“Supporting zero-emissions vehicle uptake via mechanisms to make new fossil-fuelled cars pay for the damage they cause is entirely reasonable and logical,” wrote Tesla in the proposal. Which is all well and good if you can afford to purchase an electric car but people who can’t pay that price tag, which we’re comfortable in saying is the majority of folks, won’t be especially pleased to know they’re being taxed for something they can’t control.
Having said that, this tax increase would be in the UK, a country which has the infrastructure to support efficient and effective public transport which most of the country uses anyway. While being forced into purchasing an EV sounds terrible to us in South Africa due to how expensive they are here, in the UK electric vehicles are priced much more affordably with a wider range of options for consumers to choose from.
Tesla Tax could help the world
The tax increase is reminiscent of the sin-tax placed on cigarettes and alcohol. While nobody actually wants to pay extra when purchasing these items, it’s a fairly effective method of discouraging folks from picking up some potentially bad habits.
Of course, Tesla had other ideas for the UK in mind when it submitted that proposal. The company suggested a “zero-emissions mandate” that would require car manufacturers to sell a certain amount of zero-emission vehicles as well as a request to install more charging stations around the country and tax breaks for those making use of corporate cars.
Don’t worry about these proposals coming to South Africa, however. We certainly don’t have the infrastructure to support an added tax on petrol and diesel and EVs are still much to expensive to be readily accessible at the moment. Better start saving up if you want to jump into that Cybertruck when it launches…
Source: The Guardian