Jersey: The Electric Vehicle Revolution – Is This The Calm Before The Storm?

Last Updated: 14 June 2018
Article by Christopher Scholefield

Head north to England, buy an electric car and the government will give you a £4,500 subsidy. Do the same thing in France and the subsidy is €6,000. In Jersey the best deal on offer has only ever been £300 towards the cost of an e-cycle while in Guernsey a similar scheme remains under investigation. Perhaps that explains why the number of electric vehicles (EVs) on our roads remains vanishingly small (roughly 200 in a fleet of 125,000 registered vehicles in Jersey and 144 in a fleet of 83,000 in Guernsey) since range anxiety has never been an issue for Channel Island motorists.

However, all that may be about to change. Battery performance figures and manufacturing costs are changing fast. No sooner had the UK government said diesel and petrol car and van sales will have to stop by 2040 than the Scottish government announced it was trumping that deadline with an earlier one of its own, 2032. Another regional authority refusing to wait for a national policy to emerge is Majorca which has announced plans to ban new diesel vehicles by 2025. No government these days wants its green credentials to look second rate.

Morgan Stanley are estimating that globally one vehicle in two (that's one billion vehicles) will be battery powered by 2050.The economic and legal implications for the islands of this sea change are intriguing, even if there are some vested interests who would prefer we did not think too hard about them.

It's too soon to say what fate awaits internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Surely they will be charged for using, and eventually banned from built up areas, commuter routes and roads near schools. The off road capabilities of the glossy crossover SUV in the dealer's showroom may soon seem less important than the fact they can't go where you need to go when you need to go there.

Public opinion changes quickly these days. Will today's enthusiasm for bulky four by fours dissipate in a twitter storm of indignation? Will a 2017 model Bentley Bentayga, which emits 210gms of Co2 per km, one day be derided as irresponsible and, frankly, a bit naff?

Car buying agreements

No legal issues arise there: you are free to buy such a car or not to do so. The dealer makes no promises in the contract of sale about what the future may hold for it either in terms of trade in value or permitted usage. Concern about the residual value of diesel vehicles has already hit sales but even scrappage schemes enticing you to trade in a dirty old diesel for a clean new one make no contractually binding promises about how long any vehicle with an exhaust pipe will be welcome on our roads.

Planning

Getting power for your car will no longer involve a visit to one of the islands' existing filling stations. You will expect to charge up whenever and wherever there is power. For residential areas with predominantly on-street parking, will the future see charging points installed along the whole street? That might be a design challenge in historic and other sensitive areas, such as sea front car parks. Happily work is already being done to investigate adding charging stations to existing lamp standards. Perhaps the States will seek savings by simply outsourcing the whole EV charging infrastructure challenge to the private sector. Leisure attractions will want to seek permission to install the required charging infrastructure for their visitors. As petrol sales fall, change of use applications from garages to residential are bound to follow. Indeed the smart money may already be on properties currently blighted by an adjacent forecourt which will eventually be making way for a no noise, no fumes, no garish branding residential redevelopment.

Taxation

In 2016 the States of Jersey made £21.8m out of vehicle fuel duty. In Guernsey the figure for 2017 was £19.4m. VRD, a one-off charge calculated according to how much pollution a car causes and which replaced the old annual road tax windscreen disc, is also a nice little earner. Jersey hits the dirtiest cars with a maximum charge of £1,900. Guernsey charges just £690 but paradoxically it's Guernsey that has a healthy population of efficient, second hand, Japanese domestic market micro cars because it does not insist all Guernsey registered vehicles have EU type approval. EVs will dry up these revenue streams which will have to be replaced. So far EV drivers have enjoyed a tax holiday because the islands' governments, having offered no subsidies, at least avoids taxing them. That can't last. The authorities may say they wish to encourage green motoring but eventually EV use will be so widespread the tax holiday will have to end. Taxing electricity used to power up an EV, as opposed to say running the fridge, does not look practical. We must therefore expect a return to the annual road tax windscreen disc, charged on the grounds of congestion, or perhaps road pricing which GPS technology has made much easier to operate.

Home buying

Homes with off street parking allowing easy domestic charging will command a premium. If you run a cable from your front door across the pavement to your car how long before someone falls over it in the dark and sues? For blocks of flats the declarations of co ownership or articles of association will need amending to provide a regime for the installation, access to and consumption charges of onsite charging facilities. Some buyers will be put off apartments where this has not been sorted out. Luxury flats may offer one per charging station per unit but further down market a rota could be needed. The EU is already working on regulations to require all new residential units to have access to a charging point so the writing on the wall is pretty clear.

Motor trade employment

The island employs hundreds of trained mechanics who maintain ICE vehicles. Since EVs have so few moving parts this sort of work will either change beyond recognition or simply vanish. Employers will need to update and then scrupulously apply their redundancy policies. Those keen to retain the best staff will want to offer contracts providing generous in work re-training opportunities. When the safety arguments reach critical mass ( let's remember five died in one crash in Leeds in November 2017, six in one crash in Birmingham just weeks later ) autonomous vehicles will surely also take off. California has licensed driverless autonomous vehicles on its roads as of April 2018. Renault launched a fully autonomous ( no steering wheel ) electric Robo-taxi at the 2018 Geneva Show. This can only mean one thing: driving work in the transport sector will evaporate. Astute motor franchisees already know which manufacturers are no longer at the forefront of technological change. Even prestige brands will have to be dropped in favour of more promising ones. Does anyone remember Rover or Saab these days?

Commercial leaseholds and retail

In recent years there has been a coming together of petrol stations and food retail – "enroute" so to speak. For some reason the public has not been put off buying food stored and offered for sale right next to the fumes and exhaust gases of a busy forecourt. As demand for petrol reduces so this model will need to be reappraised. Convenient locations offering abundant parking will survive. Those also offering a quick charge for their shoppers' EVs will be better placed but both will have lost their USP – access to the pumps. Commercial landlords owning properties of this sort will need to prepare to reconfigure them if they want their tenants to stay put and continue trading successfully.

Staying ahead of the game

The smartphone revolution was swift and all-embracing. Because they are a replacement technology not a new one EVs will take longer but, as Nicola Sturgeon said when announcing Scotland's 2032 changeover, "to succeed Scotland must lead change, not simply trail in its wake."

Politicians in both Bailiwicks should heed that remark. Are we using our autonomy constructively or has the blame culture reduced our governments to observing innovations elsewhere and eventually, lamely, copying them? It was the Isle of Man that rushed to re-write its traffic laws so as to become a test bed for Google's autonomous vehicles, not Jersey or Guernsey, so guess which Crown Dependency is now the talk of the Washington Post and has chums in the Googleplex. Whatever our governments do or don't do their private citizens will think through what's coming and lay their plans accordingly.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
In association with
Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions