Re: 5 minute recharge time
"Electricity already has VAT paid on it."
Yes, although at different rates for commercial or domestic use.
"It's also impossible to charge duty on electricity used to drive a car without charging duty on other electricity. Electricity is electricity."
That is about to change... Part 2 of the Automated and Electric Vehicles Act 2018 is all about the charging network for electric vehicles. In addition to mandating the provision of EV charging points in new property developments, on streets, etc., the act also states that future EV charging points must be "smart":
Smart charge points
(1)Regulations may provide that a person must not sell or install a charge point unless it complies with prescribed requirements.
(2)The requirements that may be imposed under subsection (1) include requirements relating to the technical specifications for a charge point, including for example the ability of a charge point—
(a)to receive and process information provided by a prescribed person,
(b)to react to information of a kind mentioned in paragraph (a) (for example, by adjusting the rate of charging or discharging),
(c)to transmit information (including geographical information) to a prescribed person,
(d)to monitor and record energy consumption,
(e)to comply with requirements relating to security,
(f)to achieve energy efficiency, and
(g)to be accessed remotely.
i.e. They want to know (via remote access) how much energy is being used to charge an electric vehicle (because they will be losing all that fuel duty). They also want to be able to turn EV chargers off and on, presumably to protect the grid.
As the feed-in tariffs for solar panels are diappearing, I foresee a market for illicit solar panel and/or home battery storage setups, where EV owners will charge their vehicles without paying the relevant tax. Unlike red diesel, the government can't put a dye in the electricity.