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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my budget sub £4k conversion is damn near finished, I blew up my arduino controller so need that replaced prior to doing some tests on range...

Anyway I notified the DVLA about change of engine to see what the response would be. And oddly the response was I cannot change the classification on an M1 class vehicle built after 2001.

So I will have to continue paying road tax at the old CO2 emissions level. This is in the UK where road tax is based on the emissions.

Anyone else got experience of this? My next step is insurance, and explaining to them that the DVLA classification will differ to the reality - I have the letter from the DVLA as evidence.

Anyone with experience getting their UK EV on the road, id love to speak.

Thanks

Dave
 

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No experience yet as mine is still a WIP and off-road, but this does go contrary to what I was told when I called the DVLA before starting... If it's true it worries me a fair bit - but I was told specifically about the donor car I bought that it would be fine...

I've had mixed messages from different people who pick up the phone to answer the same question from the DVLA, so perhaps it's worth calling for a second opinion?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Maybe, but the case was escalated to the 'Vehicle Casework Unit', and after I received my letter I rang the same chap to discuss it with him.

He said he had further escalated it internally and this was the outcome.

He has referenced the necessary legislation VERA act 1994 part 1A subsection 1 of schedule 1.

I think I am going to see what the insurance guys make of it next... I have the letter from the DVLA as proof that I tried...
Dave
 

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Maybe, but the case was escalated to the 'Vehicle Casework Unit', and after I received my letter I rang the same chap to discuss it with him.

He said he had further escalated it internally and this was the outcome.

He has referenced the necessary legislation VERA act 1994 part 1A subsection 1 of schedule 1...
I can see why... that's what that section of Schedule 1 says: "its status as such a vehicle, and the applicable CO2 emissions figure, are not affected by any subsequent modification of the vehicle". I doubt that when this regulation was written anyone anticipated a conversion to electric; it was probably intended to make things easier for people who make performance modifications which increase emissions.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I can see why... that's what that section of Schedule 1 says: "its status as such a vehicle, and the applicable CO2 emissions figure, are not affected by any subsequent modification of the vehicle". I doubt that when this regulation was written anyone anticipated a conversion to electric; it was probably intended to make things easier for people who make performance modifications which increase emissions.
Yeah, I said to the chap at the DVLA that the legislation is obviously behind the curve. That said when it is updated it will probably be a lot harder to get a home grown EV on the road as it will undoubtedly need some kind of checking.

Quick vid of my first test, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otLut2NulYc
 

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Real bummer about the law being so backwards - One of the reasons a conversion was attractive to me was to save the tax bill...

Glad your RX-8 is finished though - Nice to see that it's perfectly doable even on a tight budget.

EDIT: I read further down; The issue seems isolated to modifying an existing vehicle - which is really dumb since Schedule 2, section 20G specifies,

Code:
20G[F41(1)]An electrically propelled vehicle is an exempt vehicle.
[F42(2)But a vehicle is not an exempt vehicle by reason of this paragraph if—

(a)it is a vehicle to which Part 1AA of Schedule 1 applies (light passenger vehicles registered on or after 1 April 2017), and

(b)its price exceeds £40,000.

(3)Paragraph 1GF of Schedule 1 (calculating the price of a vehicle) applies for the purposes of sub-paragraph (2)(b).]
 

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I just got off a live chat session with the DVLA and was told three separate figures...

I stated the reg, make, model and colour, and that I was planning to convert to 100% battery electric. I was firstly told that I would recieve a £10 discount as it would classify as an alternatively fuelled vehicle under the following standard.

Code:
Cars that are constructed/modified to run on certain “prescribed fuels” attract a reduced rate of vehicle tax which is £10 per annum less than the standard rate.
 
These vehicle fall under the ‘Alternative Fuel’ taxation class.


Prescribed Fuels
The fuels that would qualify for this tax class are:
Road fuel gas (e.g. LPG) as described in the Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003, Section 146.
Petrol and Road fuel gas (e.g. LPG)
Electricity and Petrol/Diesel (e.g. Hybrid Electric)
Bio-ethanol
A mixture of Bio-ethanol and Unleaded Petrol (proportion of Bio-ethanol by volume must be at least 85%)
 
All other fuel types pay the standard rate of vehicle tax.
After clarifying to the adviser that my conversion would not classify as such as "Electricity and Petrol/Diesel" implies that you use both ("and" not any variation of "or"), the adviser promptly told me that I would be paying standard rate.

I clarified that the converted vehicle would be zero-emissions 100% pure electric and she went to check the record.

I was then told that I would indeed be eligible for £0 tax and that I would need to send my V5C with sections completed to reflect the new fuel-type and tax class along with documentary evidence for the changes to Swansea, recieving a new V5 in a few weeks of their reciept of it. No doubt I will also submit the chat transcript of this afternoon's conversation but I definitely have more questions to ask now than I did going in...

I don't know all of the differences between your RX8 and my MG, but mine was registered in 2003 and currently, I would be paying £235 per annum in road tax.

I'm glad your case was escalated Dave but that does mean that one of us has been given incorrect information. I'm hoping for both of our wallets going forwards, it is you - but I'm not so optimistic...
 

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I stated the reg, make, model and colour, and that I was planning to convert to 100% battery electric. I was firstly told that I would recieve a £10 discount as it would classify as an alternatively fuelled vehicle under the following standard.

...

After clarifying to the adviser that my conversion would not classify as such as "Electricity and Petrol/Diesel" implies that you use both ("and" not any variation of "or"), the adviser promptly told me that I would be paying standard rate.
That makes sense, because the quoted section is for use of prescribed alternate fuels, and electricity isn't fuel. The exemption should in an a different section.
 

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Hi Folks,


I am wondering if there is another wrinkle we could use here.


When a kit car is built if has to be registered but can keep the registration of the donor car if it has enough parts from it. This is also true for a "heavily modified" car.


I'm thinking we could legitimately call an EV car a heavily modified car and therefore be able to go through that route. It will need to pass the appropriate tests for a kit car but that should be easy for any recently made production car.




Cheers,


Andy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Folks,


I am wondering if there is another wrinkle we could use here.


When a kit car is built if has to be registered but can keep the registration of the donor car if it has enough parts from it. This is also true for a "heavily modified" car.


I'm thinking we could legitimately call an EV car a heavily modified car and therefore be able to go through that route. It will need to pass the appropriate tests for a kit car but that should be easy for any recently made production car.




Cheers,


Andy.
I was chatting to a friend of mine that has built a kit car and he said the exact same thing. It does worry me though, I have no real idea on engine mount regulations, battery safety, wiring standards etc

I feel that although 99% of the car would be fine, it would open a can of worms that might make the project stall - and leave you with a car that now cannot go on the road until it passes its IVA!

Dave
 

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I wonder what the legality of converting, taxing on standard rate to get it on the road, and later getting it inspected and re-registered would be?

Hopefully we don't, but maybe paying £200-300 tax a year for a DIY EV is wrong, but better than having it ordered off road because of a failed inspection.

There's a decent chance that the road tax system will be overhauled completely in the next few years anyway as the Govt. notices their revenue stream from car tax start to evaporate...
 

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G'Day Dave,

Probably a bit late to the party here, however one route you might look at is in Australia we have vehicle engineers, but we have a component of the law for Individually Constructed Vehicles.

Now, depending on the engineer you speak to, and these are generally blokes at Fabrication Shops, Registered Mechanics, etc, they might be able to work the modifications you've done to be considered less a "Conversion" and more a "New Build"

So that may be a loophole in the UK as well (A lot of our laws are the same, like some bored bureaucrat decided to just Ctrl + C and Ctrl + V the legislation.
Essentially your rego papers wouldn't say "Mazda RX8" anymore, but "Dave's Coupe" or whatever you want to call it.

Though if you would like a guide if the UK doesn't have regulations on electric car conversions yet, then you could have a look at Vehicles Standards Bulletin 14 under sections NCOP13 Section LV Alternative Power Units V2 and NCOP14 Guidelines Electric Drive V2 which are what we have to meet in Australia to ensure safety, and that is not just for conversions, that's for new builds on things like Kit Cars.

The other thing that might feel like you have wasted your time on though is that in Australia (and maybe the UK) is that if it is a Kit Car/Low Volume, at the Federal Level at least, you only need Seat Belts as your safety gear, no airbags, no traction control, no stability control, none of that.

Though I have watched all of your videos, and they have been a gem to me (Especially since you started pulling the leaf apart, I have a leaf myself (e-NV200) and I'll be using that for my Jetta build) and you seem to have heavily invested time and mental power on the CANBUS issues. In fact that has been quite a guide for me in my understanding of the process, and I'll be looking at something similar for mine, though as I'm not keeping things like the factory gearbox, I'll be needing more CAN data relayed.

Anyways, best of luck to you mate, just some food for thought in that maybe you "don't own an RX8" anymore.
 

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I have started a new thread to discuss this, with more details on DVLA's (incorrect) interpretation of the current law:-

UK re-classification to EV with DVLA

In response to brian_ above, there is indeed a section in VERA 1994 that states the CO2 figure of an M1 class vehicle cannot be changed (and I understand why), but that whole Schedule on VED rates for vehicles of that age is irrelevant as there is overriding caveat that "electric vehicles are exempt" and legal advice that I have taken supports my view that this means the Schedule for M1 vehicles needs not be considered. DVLA can change the Taxation Class to 'Electric' as there is NOTHING in the Regs to disallow that. The CO2 figure can be left in place on the V5, but once the TC is 'Electric' the emissions figure is meaningless.

One could say DVLA must be expert on interpreting UK law, but that seems not to be the case and in my discussions with them, found them to be including additional statements that supported their position, but which they had simply invented themselves as they do not exist within those regs. So no, I would say they are far from expert in these matters.

Anyway, might I suggest any discussion regarding the general application of the regs by DVLA (i.e. not about any specific cars) is directed to the other thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting, will read the other thread with interest! I did have lengthy conversations with the DVLA, and it is hard when they through terms at you that you do not know are part of legislation - or they just made up!

Cheers

Dave
 
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