Image: HM Treasury (@hmtreasury) via Twitter.
As widely anticipated, the chancellor Philip Hammond has reiterated the Government’s commitment to the development of both driverless and electric vehicles in the 2017 Budget.
Mr Hammond said in his Budget speech on 22 November, ‘our future vehicles will be driverless, but they will be electric first’.
Mr Hammond pledged £540m towards electric vehicles – including a new £400m charging infrastructure fund, an extra £100m in Plug-In-Car Grant, and £40m for research into charging.
As revealed earlier this week, Mr Hammond also confirmed that regulation changes will be introduced to pave the way for driverless cars to be tested on UK roads as early as 2018.
Philip Hammond said: “There is perhaps no technology as symbolic of the revolution gathering pace around us as driverless vehicles.
“I know that Jeremy Clarkson doesn’t like them, but there are many other good reasons to pursue this technology – so today we step up our support for it.
“I’m sorry Jeremy but this is not the first time you’ve been snubbed by Hammond and May.
“Our future vehicles will be driverless, but they will be electric first – and that’s a change that needs to come as soon as possible for our planet.
“So we will establish a new £400m charging infrastructure fund, invest and extra £100m in the plug-in car grant and £40m in charging research and development.
“And I can confirm today that we will clarify the law, so that people who charge their electric vehicles at work will not face a benefit in kind charge from next year.”
The chancellor also announced that fuel duty rise for petrol and diesel cars scheduled for April 2018 has been scrapped, although vehicle excise duty for new diesel cars not meeting latest standards will rise by one band.