I thank the Deputy. Providing a sustainable low-carbon transport system is a key priority for the Department. The programme for Government commits to 7% average annual emissions reductions to 2030. Ultimately, the goal is for a zero-emission mobility system by 2050 and electrification will be key to achieving that in the transport sector.
EVs are the most prominent transport mitigation measure in the 2019 climate action plan and Ireland has set an ambitious target of 936,000 EVs on our roads by 2030. This target is challenging but indicates the scale of the transformation needed across all sectors if Ireland is to achieve its climate targets in the coming years. To this end, my Department has convened the electric vehicle policy pathway working group to produce a roadmap to achieving the 2030 EV target. The working group comprises senior officials and has considered regulatory, financial and taxation policies to help to drive a significant ramp-up in passenger EVs and electric van sales.
Scrappage schemes were discussed as part of these considerations. The working group considered the potential of this incentive but concluded that a general scrappage scheme would entail significant additional costs. However, the group concluded that niche market scrappage schemes could potentially play an important role, such as in the small public service vehicles, SPSV, sector. Furthermore, considerable progress has been made as a result of the work of the low-emission vehicle task force to ensure conditions and policies are in place to support citizens in making greener vehicle choices.
A comprehensive suite of measures is available to EV drivers, including purchase grants for private car owners and taxi drivers, VRT relief, reduced tolls, home charger grants, favourable motor and benefit-in-kind tax rates, as well as a comprehensive charging network. These measures have contributed to increased take-up of EVs in Ireland in recent years, albeit from a low base, to around 45,000