Drivers face £700 annual road toll bill as EVs hit fuel duty revenue

Researchers say a national network of tolls should be implemented to compensate for a loss in fuel duty caused by EVs

A national network of road tolls, costing drivers £700 a year on average, should be put in place to compensate for a large loss of income from fuel duty, researchers have said.

At present, fuel duty is charged at a rate of 57.95p per litre for petrol and diesel. The Treasury has been warned, though, that as electric cars become more prevalent, the Government could stand to lose more than £14billion by 2040.

• UK petrol and diesel prices: February price rise ends three months of cuts

The study, which was conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance and reported by the Times, says that while the Government could try to compensate for this loss by increasing fuel duty on the remaining petrol and diesel cars, or impose higher surcharges on electricity, it would be more effective to abandon the tax altogether in favour of a mileage-based road-charging system.

The researchers have suggested a levy of 7.5p per mile be introduced by 2030, rising to 9.1p per mile by 2040. Other major countries, including the US, China and Germany, have also been advised to consider the concept.

• Electric vehicles cheaper to own than petrol or diesel cars

Recent political history suggests, however, that such a scheme may not go down very well in the UK. Back in 2005, the ruling Labour Government announced plans for a road pricing policy that could have seen drivers pay up to £1.34 per mile to use motorways at peak times.

The plans were subject to a huge public backlash, including an online petition in 2007 that attracted more than 1.8 million signatures. As a result, the Government was forced to abandon the scheme.

What do you think about the proposed toll network? Let us know in the comments below…

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