Owners of electric vehicles look set to be charged £65 a year in road tax.
However, he did add: ‘At this stage, the absolute income from this will be relatively small because of the low number of electric vehicles; however, the department wishes to establish the principle that these vehicles pay vehicle duty; hence their treatment as a small car.
‘Next year, it is anticipated that £85,000 will be raised from electric car vehicle duty.’
By 2030, the DoI anticipates there will be over 10,000 EVs on Manx roads, which means the rules will need to change at some point to reflect this.
Mr Thomas added: ‘It is perhaps inappropriate for those who are less able to afford an electric car to subsidise the vehicle duty of those who might be more able, especially as it has been suggested that buyer behaviour on a macro level is not strongly influenced by the level of vehicle duty.’
A previous bid by the DoI to introduce a charge in 2021 was met by opposition from islanders, with over 4,500 people signing a petition against the move.
At that time, the charge was due to be £50 a year, but also came with unpopular proposals for other vehicle owners, including the government ‘gradually introducing’ weight based duty categories which would remove the current engine capacity based duties while all other duties will rise by 1%.
In the UK, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in his autumn statement that from April 1 2025, all electric car owners will be required to pay the standard rate of £165 per year. EV drivers who own a car with a list price of £40,000 or more will also pay the £355 premium car tax rate.