FTA: 'reduce fuel duty to kickstart the economy'
The Freight Transport Association participated in a 'Select Committee' style inquiry at the House of Commons this week, in the latest campaigning exercise carried out by the All-Party Group on Fair Fuel, to highlight the impact of January's planned fuel duty increase.
The event was organised so that MPs could hear firsthand how high road fuel prices and high fuel duty is effecting consumers and businesses. Part of the on-going FTA-backed FairFuelUK Campaign, the event was chaired by Robert Halfon MP and addressed an audience of MPs from across the UK political parties.
As part of the presentation, FTA's Managing Director of Policy & Communications James Hookham gave powerful evidence drawing attention to the huge impact of the cost of fuel on running a logistics operation and the economic benefits of not going ahead with the rise.
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Mr Hookham said:"In the run-up to the Autumn Statement it is vital that every MP is aware of what is at stake from an increase in fuel duty from January.
"FTA has taken this opportunity to brief MPs from across the House on the threat that the increase in fuel duty poses to businesses and consumers, supporting our case that the Chancellor should not only postpone the increase in January, but that he should in fact reduce fuel duty by 3p and kick-start the economy."
Within his presentation James Hookham spelt out the five things everybody needs to know about fuel duty and why it should be cut:
1. Petrol really costs about 60p per litre (excluding duty and VAT)
2. Fuel duty is over half the total price that is paid at the time of purchase
3. Fuel duty is a tax on work – it is paid straight out of cash flow or household expenditure, not profits of savings
4. Fuel duty is paid by everyone - businesses and hard working families
5. A 3p per litre rise in fuel duty costs a 10 vehicle freight operator approximately £14,000 – that could be a person’s wages!
Elon Musk's Boring Co. planning wider tunnels for freight
Elon Musk’s drilling outfit The Boring Company could be shifting its focus towards subterranean freight and logistics solutions, according to reports.
A Boring Co. pitch deck seen and shared by Bloomberg depicts plans to construct wider tunnels designed to accommodate shipping containers.
Founded by Tesla CEO Musk in 2016, the company initially stated its mission was to offer safer, faster point-to-point transport for people, particularly in cities plagued by traffic congestion. It also planned longer tunnels to ferry passengers between popular destinations across the US.
The Boring Co. completed its first commercial project earlier this year in April. The 1.7m tunnel system is designed to move professionals between convention centres in Las Vegas using Tesla EVs. It says the Las Vegas Convention Centre Loop can cut travel time between venues from 45 minutes to just two.
Boring Co.'s new freight tunnels
The Boring Co.'s new tunnel designs would allow freight to be transported on purpose built platforms, labelled as “battery-powered freight carriers”. The document shows that, though the containers could technically fit within its current 12-foot tunnels, wider tunnels would be more efficient. Designs for a new tunnel, 21 feet in diameter, show that they can comfortably accommodate two containers side-by-side, with a one-foot gap between them.
The Boring Co.’s new drilling machine, dubbed Prufrock, can tunnel at a rate of one mile per week, which is six times faster than its previous machine, and is designed to ‘porpoise’ - mimicking the marine animal by ‘diving’ below ground and reemerging once the tunnel is complete.
Tesla’s supply chain woes
Tesla is facing its own supply chain and logistic issues. The EV manufacturer has raised the price of its vehicles, with CEO Musk confirming the incremental hike was a result of “major supply chain pressure”. Musk replied to a disgruntled Twitter user, confused as to why prices were rising while features were being removed from the cars, saying the “raw materials especially” were a big issue.
Car manufacturing continues to be one of the industries hit hardest by a global shortage in semiconductor chips. While China’s chip manufacturing levels hit an all-time high in May, and the US is proposing a 25% tax credit for chip manufacturers, demand still outstrips supply. Automakers including Volkswagen and Audi have again said they expect reduced vehicle output in the next quarter due to a lack of semiconductors, with more factory downtime likely.
Top Image credit: The Boring Company / @boringcompany