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New post-Brexit rules ‘could add £3,400 to electric car price tags’

18 Oct 2023 2 minute read
Photo John Walton/PA Wire

Electric vehicle (EV) buyers face a £3,400 price hike from the start of next year unless post-Brexit trade rules are delayed, an automotive industry body has said.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has called on the UK and EU to postpone the implementation of tougher rules of origin requirements on EV batteries.

Tariffs of 10% are due to be imposed on exports of electric cars between the UK and EU from January 1 if at least 45% of their value does not originate in the UK or EU.

Manufacturers will struggle to meet that threshold as battery production within Europe has not increased as quickly as hoped.

The SMMT estimated the tariffs could result in an average price rise of £3,400 on EU-manufactured pure battery electric vehicles bought in the UK.

Nearly half (49%) of all pure battery electric vehicles bought by UK buyers are from the EU.


The SMMT said conventional petrol and diesel vehicles would escape tariffs, which would “have the perverse effect of incentivising the purchase of fossil fuel-powered vehicles”.

It described a three-year delay in implementing the new rules of origin requirements as “a pragmatic solution” as it would allow time for European battery production to ramp up.

Speaking before an SMMT virtual global trade conference, the organisation’s chief executive Mike Hawes said: “UK automotive is a trading powerhouse delivering billions to the British economy, exporting vehicles and parts around the world, creating high value jobs and driving growth nationwide.

“Our manufacturers have shown incredible resilience amid multiple challenges in recent years, but unnecessary, unworkable and ill-timed rules of origin will only serve to set back the recovery and disincentivise the very vehicles we want to sell.

“Not only would consumers be out of pocket, but the industrial competitiveness of the UK and continental industries would be undermined.

“A three-year delay is a simple, common-sense solution which must be agreed urgently.”

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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago

Oh, didn’t Break-it voters do so because everything would be cheaper? We’re still waiting for a list of which items will be. The page is still blank isn’t it? Unless anyone has found something that is.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
7 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Ah, yes. This must be one of those Brexit Premiums that were oft promised amongst the other lies. What they did not say was it was going to be a cost for us not a benefit. It was recently reported in the Guardian that yet another Miister has been tasked with the job of looking for EU rules to abolish and benefits of Brexit to find. Apparently this is the 22 attempt at this task.

Oh the joy of running a country on a foundation of lies!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago
Reply to  Peter Cuthbert

22nd attempt? They should have stopped 20 attempts ago.

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