‘Future vehicles will be driverless, but they will be electric first’ – Philip Hammond

12.00 | 23 November 2017 | | 2 comments

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.

Categories: Autonomous vehicles, Vehicles & technology.



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    Perhaps the higher government officials including the Ministers should be the first to have daily use of these vehicles in so they can experience them first-hand, rather than be influenced by glowing reports from those who may have a vested interest in promoting driverless vehicles.

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    This is a fairly neutral budget for users of large, diesel fuelled, second hand 4x4s like me. I wonder when the electric vehicle equivalent will be coming along at an affordable price and capable of towing my caravan?

    I know Mr Elon Musk presented the world with his large electric truck last week and the Cummins Aeos prototype truck was unveiled a couple of months ago but that is a large step removed from my needs.

    Seems probable that diesel tow cars for caravanners will be in demand for a decade or two yet. Steady as you go Mr Hammond.

    Pat Bates
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