In the UK, budget time is upon us once again (albeit delayed a few weeks this year on account of the financial crisis). Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling is expected to announce a ‘green budget’ designed to help the UK’s economic recovery. Ahead of it we have learnt that several thousand pounds will be offered to motorists who buy electric or plug in hybrid carsHow successful such a scheme will be remains to be seen. The German government introduced a €2,500 subsidy for drivers to scrap an old vehicle and buy a new one earlier this year. That scheme, aimed at supporting the Germany car industry and encouraging a switch to more efficient (though not necessarily electric or hybrid) cars, has proven popular.
Companies with plug in hybrids in the pipeline include large German manufacturers such as BMW and Daimler as well as Toyota, General Motors, Renaul/Nissan and PSA Peugeot Citroen. Perhaps a better way for the Chancellor to show off his green credentials would be an incentive to companies to buy fully electric commercial vehicles. A great deal of commercial traffic in cities consists of highly-polluting diesel vans travelling short distances, so an electric van that can travel, say, 100km on one battery charge is ideal for cross-town commercial trips (especially if it can be recharged at the depot overnight).
Supporting the electric van industry would be directly beneficial to British-owned businesses. Tanfield (see news story), which is quoted on London’s Alternative Investment Market, makes electric vans, while Coventry-based Modec, currently a private company, sells its electric vans to supermarkets as well as express delivery companies like FedEx.
However, this Chancellor could gratify British cleantech investors and green entrepreneurs by correcting a mistake he made less than two years ago that directly affected AIM – a home for many UK-based cleantech companies. Before he decided to scrap business assets taper relief in October 2007, investors in UK-domiciled AIM companies, as well as unquoted businesses, were able to receive a reduction in tax of up to 40% on any capital gains they made from their investment. So, Mr Chancellor, how about reintroducing business assets taper relief for capital gains made from investing in cleantech companies?
|< Prev||Next >|