Thursday, 17 October 2019

Questions (255)

Michael McGrath


255. Deputy Michael McGrath asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment if his attention has been drawn to the fact that orders placed for many electric cars now cannot be met until the first quarter of 2020 due to the fact the cars are not available (details supplied); if he will consider extending the deadline for the drawdown of the grant accordingly; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [42662/19]

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Written answers (Question to Communications)

The electric vehicle purchase grant provides grant aid of up to €5,000 towards the purchase of a new battery electric vehicle or new plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. From the introduction of the scheme to the end of September 2019, grant support has been provided for the purchase of a total of 8,450 new vehicles to the value of almost €39 million. To date this year, over €17 million has been provided to support the purchase of 3,815 new electric vehicles.

Budget 2020 will see €36 million allocated next year for electric vehicles supports. Of this, €6 million will be provided to support charging infrastructure and €30 million allocated towards purchase grants. As the whole life costs of electric vehicles reduce, the targeting of Government grant support must be adjusted to reflect this. Accordingly, the grant of up to €3,800 for businesses purchasing a new electric car will be discontinued. Businesses can continue to apply for this grant until 22 October provided the vehicle is registered in 2019. However, I do not intend to extend this support beyond the end of this year.

Businesses purchasing electric vans can continue to avail of the grant. In addition, there is a generous benefit-in-kind tax relief available to support the purchase of battery electric vehicles by businesses. In Budget 2020, the Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform announced the Government's intention to extend this relief to 2022.

SEAI issues purchase grant approvals with a maximum four month period of validity. At the start of September SEAI notified dealers, who apply for grants on behalf of the purchaser, that applications would only be accepted for vehicles registered in 2019. All letters of offer issued from that point were valid until the end of 2019 only. Dealers were notified that applications would not open for vehicles to be registered in 2020 until October and no offer letters have been issued that are valid beyond the end of 2019. Purchase grant applications will open for vehicles to be registered in 2020 on 23 October.