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Irish government to cut grants for some electric cars

DUBLIN: The Department of Transport plans to cut grants for high-priced electric cars. The government aims to control price of vehicles and reduce incentive for plug-in hybrids.

Fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids received a grant of up to €5,000 from the Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland. From July 1, the maximum grant available for plug-in hybrids will be reduced to €2,500.

The department said the change was made in line with other countries in the European Union. It also says real carbon emissions are still higher than manufacturers claim.

Only cars priced below €60,000 will be eligible for the grant scheme

This year, €27 million has been allocated for the grant scheme. A total of €36.5 million will be spent on the promotion of electric vehicles and the decarbonisation of transport.

Sales of electric cars are booming, but…

According to the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, sales of electric cars are on the rise in the first three months of 2021. Statistics show that sales have already increased by more than 71% this year.

However, electric cars still make up only a small proportion of total sales – less than 6%.The report suggests that more pace is needed to achieve the government’s target of getting one million electric vehicles on our roads by 2030.

Norway has the highest sales of electric vehicles. More than half of its car sales are now electric.

Simon Acton, chair of the Irish Electric Vehicle Owners Association, wants a similar regime implemented here as well. “If we could have zero VAT on electric vehicles that would be amazing, but that would be a huge chunk of money for the Revenue to find somewhere else,” he said.

According to Christina Bu, head of the Norwegian Electric Vehicle Association, “it is good to incentivise people to buy the right cars, so they’re not locked into having to pollute 20 years ahead.”

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