Car buyers have responded well to the expanded range of incentives in place arising from the work of Phase 1, Electric Vehicles, of the Low Emission Vehicles Taskforce. Based on purchases to September (1,700+), it is likely that over 2,000 full battery EVs will be purchased in 2018, up from 950 in 2017.
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross T.D., and the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton T.D. welcomed publication of the first Progress Report of the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Taskforce having presented the Phase 1 Report to Government. Beginning work in late 2016, the LEV Task Force is looking at a range of measures and options to help accelerate the move to LEVs in Ireland. Phase 1 focused on electric vehicles (EVs).
Speaking today Minister Ross said “by our work within this LEV Task Force, we are working hard to secure faster uptake of electric vehicles in Ireland, vital not only to reduce climate emissions but also for cleaner air for citizens. With the range of incentives now in place and the variety of EVs, particularly with longer ranges, expanding all the time it could be time for individuals and families to think seriously about making the switch”.
Minister Bruton added that “there has been significant uptake in electric vehicles in Ireland with over 6,000 now on Irish roads”. Minister Bruton also noted that it was important to ensure that people are aware of the benefits of driving an electric vehicle, noting that “in April this year, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland launched an awareness campaign as part of its electric vehicle public engagement programme. A dedicated website – www.DrivingElectric.ie – provides answers to the questions drivers have about electric vehicles and shows people why they should consider buying one.”
The work of the Task Force has been central in developing and coordinating actions across Government. Drawn from across the various key Departments and Agencies, Taskforce members considered the potential roles of various factors in increasing the uptake of electric vehicles, including: market growth stimuli; infrastructure provision; public leadership; and pricing. The Task Force consulted widely with industry, stakeholders and representative groups. An expanded suite of supports for electric vehicles resulted including:
- VRT relief of up to €5,000 for new battery electric vehicles (to the end of 2021) and up to €2,500 for new plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to the end of 2019 as per Budget 2019);
- A purchase grant of up to €5,000 for electric vehicles;
- A Benefit-in-Kind rate of 0% for battery electric vehicles (introduced in Budget 2018 and extended in Budget 2019 for a further three years – with €50,000 cap introduced);
- A grant of up to €600 to support the installation of a home charger for purchasers of new and second-hand electric vehicles;
- A 50% toll discount for battery electric vehicles and 25% for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles up to a maximum amount of €500 per year with greater reductions off-peak on the M50;
- A grant of up to €7,000 for electric vehicles in the taxi/hackney/limousine sector;
- Accelerated Capital Allowances for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure; and
- Low motor tax of €120 for battery electric vehicles.
Developing technology, lower prices, longer ranges, and support measures worldwide have led to significant growth in EV numbers; with estimates of over 3 million electric vehicles in use around the world – over 1 million of these in Europe.
Phase 2 of the LEV Taskforce’s work programme, examining the role of other alternative fuels in road transport, such as Compressed Natural Gas, Biogas and Hydrogen, began last month.