HRUX – Our Stories

HRUX produces articles and reports on a number of issues and these can all be found here.

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The Cobalt Conundrum

The Cobalt Conundrum

You might reasonably argue that the case for electric vehicles is overwhelming. Trust me – 10/15 years from now you’ll pass a petrol station and think “wow, haven’t seen one of those in ages”.

So why haven’t we all already got an electric car? There are huge tax breaks, they cost hardly anything to run, they’re great to drive (if you haven’t tried you really must). Is it the range? Is the charging network? Is it the higher list price? There are around 198 thousand BEVs and PHEVs registered in the UK – out of just under 37 million vehicles – that’s less than half a percent.

My thanks to Dr Colin Herron CBE for the time he’s spent discussing the likely causes with me, which seem to come back to the lack of supply of BEVs and PHEVS. A major issue here may be the availability of batteries and the chemicals used to make them. Arguably – we can’t make a serious dent on worldwide car consumption without a major increase in the volume of low cost batteries and a change to battery technology – and that’s, by many estimates, 8 or more years away.

Take Cobalt – estimates vary of how much is in each battery, with Tesla seemingly using the least. NMC811 chemistry would suggest roughly 6.9 kg of Cobalt in each 66 kwh battery (I’ve heard much higher estimates for current batteries). In 2018 we dug up 140,000m tonnes of Cobalt globally (64% of that in the Congo). So – assuming we didn’t make anything else with it – that’s enough to make around 20m vehicles a year with an average battery size of 63 kWh.

We’d need around 11% of that 2018 total just to cover all new UK car registrations. We have a challenge to match mine output with battery production, as the mines are having to predict the chemical composition of the batteries to ensure production is economically viable. A second consideration is that a large mine takes up to 10 years from concept to full production.

And yet the batteries just keep getting bigger – the latest from Audi, Mercedes and Porsche are all 70-90 kWh, and I’m guessing use a lot more Cobalt. Consider this – you can make as many as 10 PHEVs with the Cobalt required by 1 Audi e-tron. Maybe we should be focusing tax incentives on technologies that use smaller batteries until the battery supply has normalised.

PREVIOUS POSTS

The Cobalt Conundrum

The Cobalt Conundrum

You might reasonably argue that the case for electric vehicles is overwhelming. Trust me – 10/15 years from now you’ll pass a petrol station and think “wow, haven’t seen one of those in ages”. So why haven’t we all already got an electric car? There are huge tax...

read more
Is company car tax is too high?

Is company car tax is too high?

We are constantly telling our clients that traditional company cars are, in many ways, the optimum solution for employees with significant business mileage. And yet the number of company cars on the road is falling, and fast. People who have no choice but to sit in a...

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What difference does 3 miles make?

What difference does 3 miles make?

What difference does 3 miles make? About £60 a month? The (brilliant) BMW 330e PHEV (SE) was listed at 41 electric range on the BMW website - except now it seems to say 38? We keep pointing this out - but these ranges are really important for company car tax. Register...

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A new benchmark?

A new benchmark?

I had a quick drive in a Tesla 3 and I was simply blown away. I had my reservations beforehand, not helped by the quality of a pre production car I’d sat in previously.... The drivetrain was simply amazing. Acceleration defies belief. And - in contrast to the Tesla X...

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New company car tax rules

New company car tax rules

There was an understandable degree of excitement when HMG announced the new company car tax rules yesterday. However, arguably the changes amount to little more than moving the deck chairs. We believe the biggest news is that the CO2 scale charge escalator has finally...

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P11D Correct Data

P11D Correct Data

HMRC have published today the P11D (corrected) data up to 2016/17 and provisionally for 2017/18. As usual we've updated our slide for you and this is below. The key to note is that the total number of company cars fell from 940k in 2016/17 to 890k in 2017/18, but the...

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ICFM Annual Conference

ICFM Annual Conference

It was a huge pleasure and my privilege to address the #ICFM Annual Conference in Wembley on Tuesday this week. Slightly depressing subject though - company car tax. The two speakers before me talked all things green. I was struck that our company car system really...

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Anabella and Brenda

I want to talk about two company car tax drivers, let’s call them Anabella and Brenda. It's April 2020. Anabella works in London for a PE house – she’s got a Porsche Taycan, List Price £120,000. She only does 8,000 miles a year, all private, mostly to the station in...

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New PHEVs are coming

Apparently a 34% fall in PHEV sales is the fault of HMG’s decision to remove the grant? I have to say I think that’s unlikely to be the full story? This time last year there were a number of decent PHEVs available – the Golf and Passat GTE, Audi A3 etron, BMW 330e,...

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Yes the future IS electric

Yes the future IS electric

It appears around a million Europeans bought petrol cars rather than diesels in 2018. HRUX’s own sums suggest that, over their lifetimes, those cars will emit nearly 3 million tonnes or more CO2 than the diesels Europeans were buying. Is that a lot? Does that matter?...

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A Real Conversation with a Mini Dealer

A Real Conversation with a Mini Dealer

“So what’s the electric only range on the PHEV?” “There’s no electric mini yet. We only have the Countryman which is a hybrid; like the big one over there in the corner” “Cool, but what’s the electric only range on it?” “We only have the Countryman with an electric...

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Company Car Tax 2019

Company Car Tax 2019

I’m reviewing a car fleet for a client – and I’m looking at a Jaguar XE 2.0d where the CO2 has increased from 99g under NEDC to a new figure of 128. I've checked it twice – and that’s the movement – 29g/km. The company car tax for 2018/19 will now be based on 6% more...

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Fleet Review Process

Fleet Review Process

30,000 business miles a year - which makes more sense: Skoda Superb Estate or a Nissan Navara pick-up? No I’ve not driven either. And yes, I too fancy the full size “Tonka Toy” Navara. BUT 30,000 miles a year in a pick-up?! I’ve just completed a fleet review for a...

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The Impact of WLTP

The Impact of WLTP

Good to see government is still working, and not all on Brexit! Evidence being sought to help the review of vehicle taxes and the impact of WLTP in advance of the Spring update. Deadline of 17 Feb 2019 for any contributions. https://lnkd.in/gRT6ysN

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Total Tax and NI Take on Private Fuel

Total Tax and NI Take on Private Fuel

Been writing for a while now on my frustrations with high company car taxes. But why are they so high? Is HMG being very clever or extremely foolish? Interesting to look at taxes on private fuel in a company car - here’s one the Government did earlier.... The graph...

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HMRC tax take from company cars

HMRC tax take from company cars

Having spent some time at the Fleet Management Live show over the last 2 days and seen the focus on electric vehicles I was wondering on the impact that the new tax rules would have? The Government currently receives ~£2bn p.a. in company car tax and Class1A NIC. This...

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Can I Let You Into a Little Secret?

Can I Let You Into a Little Secret?

Can I let you into a little secret? Most of the LinkedIn posts I write get rejected by my partners for being too ranty! I know! Me? Ranty?! It may not surprise you therefore to hear that I’ve had a couple of potential posts rejected these last couple of days about the...

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UK Gov gets blood from stone!

UK Gov gets blood from stone!

UK Gov gets blood from stone! The graph shows the total tax and NIC take from private fuel scale charge compared to the number of employees “enjoying” the benefit (the red line). The Exchequer has kept the tax and NIC above £300m per annum whilst the total number of...

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Biggest P11D concerns for 2017/18

Biggest P11D concerns for 2017/18

Some 3.8 million individuals are expected to receive at least one P11D reportable taxable benefit in 2016/17; equating to over £3bn and £1.2bn in tax and NIC respectively. We’ve asked our clients what their biggest concerns were for the coming 2017/18 season. In...

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FIVE Facts About P11Ds

FIVE Facts About P11Ds

Tax and employee benefits; FIVE things you might not have known! At £250bn (2015/26) PAYE represents approx. 50% of the UK’s total tax take, and its climbing. £3.9bn of this comes from forms P11D (up 5% on 2014/15). For comparison Inheritance Tax was only £5.1bn. So...

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OMG Another Post Around P11D

OMG Another Post Around P11D

OMG another post around P11D - anyone would think we’ve a product to sell! 🙂 I know, I know, it’s like crime in a multi storey car park - wrong on so many levels... See the graph? It shows the total tax and NIC on company cars collected via P11d over a nine year...

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