Fear over electric car tax

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NISSAN bosses are backing calls for a U-turn over tax on electric cars.

The firm will begin building the all-electric Leaf at its Wearside plant next year, but fears demand could be hit by tax changes announced in the Budget earlier this year.

The concerns centre on the removal of the first-year capital allowance for leased business cars, which allows firms to spread the cost of investment over a longer period.

Executives from General Motors, Toyota, and the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) gave evidence to the Commons transport committee this week.

Asked if there was anything Transport minister Norman Baker could do to boost the low-carbon sector, Toyota’s Graham Smith said: “We would certainly encourage him to talk to the Chancellor about the announcement made in the Budget in relation to benefit in kind as it applies to zero- and ultra-low emission vehicles.”

A Nissan spokesman said: “In line with the SMMT, Nissan opposes the tax changes proposed for electric vehicles, which would discourage the wider adoption of zero-emission vehicles in the UK.

“We have already made our views known to the Government on this issue.”