ShinyShiny snippets: UK’s EV Road Tax exemption to end

Electric vehicles will not be exempt from vehicle excise duty – or road tax – from April 2025, the UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt has said. Announcing the change as part of his Autumn Statement, Jeremy Hunt said the move was designed to make the motoring tax system “fairer”. Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is a tax levied on vehicles on UK roads. At present, electric vehicles (EVs) are exempt. Founder of, Nick Zapolski, said that the new “Tesla Tax”, as he calls it, could put many people off buying an EV, and that it would spark concerns that the benefits of EV ownership will be eroded over time. Tech Digest 

A Chinese-owned tech company has been told to sell the majority of its stake in a UK silicon chip factory due to security concerns. The government has said Nexperia must reduce its stake in Newport Wafer Fab by 86%, back to its previous holding of just 14% when it took over the firm in 2021, in an effort to “mitigate the risk to national security”. Nexperia responded to the announcement with shock and frustration, saying it does not accept the state’s rationale and 500 jobs are now at risk. Sky News 

MPs have been told their phones are a “potential goldmine” for hostile states who are targeting them to influence democracy in the UK.  Advice was shared by the Commons speaker, Lindsay Hoyle, suggesting MPs should not take their phones into sensitive meetings, given the threat from state-backed hackers, as well as criminals and fraudsters….The advice came from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), accompanied by a letter from Hoyle telling colleagues only one person’s phone camera or microphone needed to be compromised for everyone in a room to be put at risk. The Guardian 

While Tesla’s reliability ratings have been improving compared to previous years, the latest Consumer Reports ranking puts its cars in the unenviable 19th place among all car brands in the US. The first two places are occupied by the perennial quality aces from Toyota and its Lexus luxury offshoot, as has become customary, while hybrid cars and plug-in models presented the most reliable vehicle category overall. Purely electric vehicles, on the other hand, were the second least reliable category after full-sized pickup trucks, due to issues with either the batteries, the drivetrain, the charging system, or the assembly quality. NotebookCheck

Elon Musk has claimed he does not want to be a chief executive and said he plans to hire someone else to run Twitter during testimony in a court case over his $56bn (£47bn) pay package at Tesla. The billionaire boss of the electric car maker, who also runs rocket company SpaceX and Twitter, appeared in court in Delaware on Wednesday as part of a case brought by a disgruntled Tesla shareholder. Mr Musk was seeking to rebut claims that his huge pay deal at Tesla hangs on easy performance targets and was rammed through by pliant board members. Telegraph 

An astronomer from Oxfordshire has been locked out of her Twitter account since August 2022, when she shared a video of a meteor which was flagged by the site’s automated moderation tools. Mary McIntyre was told that her six second animated clip featured “intimate content”, shared without the consent of the participant. Her only option was to delete the tweet. However, in doing so she would have had to agree that she had broken the rules. Her initial 12-hour ban has now gone on for three months – and she has exhausted the online appeals process. BBC 


Chris Price