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Sales of electric vehicles and hybrids ‘hugely encouraging’

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STEADY GROWTH in sales of electric vehicles is ‘hugely encouraging’, the president of Environment & Infrastructure has said.

Environment & Infrastructure president Barry Brehaut said it would be installing more charging points, like this one at North Beach, in public car parks to meet rising demand. (Picture by Steve Sarre, 23574726)

Since the end of 2015, the number of electric or hybrid vehicles, including motorcycles, registered in Guernsey has risen from 221 to 688, an increase of more than 200%.

‘The graph is only going in one direction, which is hugely encouraging and great news in environmental terms,’ said Barry Brehaut.

But electric and hybrid vehicles account for less than 1% of the overall number of vehicles registered in the island.

There were 83,681 vehicles, including motorcycles, registered at the end of 2017, 724 more than the previous year.

Residents who buy an electric vehicle can charge it at spaces on North Beach as well as at Hotel de Havelet, Les Douvres Hotel and Freelance Motors.

Policy & Resources and Environment & infrastructure have formed a working party examining what the alternatives to fuel duty might look like as income from that falls.

‘The next few years will see vehicles becoming even more fuel efficient and all leading manufactures will have EVs in their product range,’ said Deputy Brehaut.

‘The recent growth in EV sales is extremely encouraging. Whilst there are no incentives to purchase them there are also no disincentives. Simply, they are cheaper to run, and they are becoming progressively more affordable.

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‘E&I will be installing more charging points around the island and in public car parks to meet the growing demand.’

Duty on motor fuel rose rose by 3.1p to 70.1p per litre in the 2019 Budget.

The revenue from this is around £20m. a year.

In 2018, P&R president Gavin St Pier spoke about the challenge facing fuel duty as technology changes.

‘Consumption is falling, with alternative fuels coming online and engines become more efficient,’ he said.

‘So in the long term we know that that position is unsustainable, but in the short-term we have the challenge that we need to continue to maintain the real value of that source of revenue, to sustain the public services for the community.’

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