The Low Emissions Vehicle Taskforce, which is co-chaired by my Department and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, is considering the measures and options available to Government to accelerate the deployment of electric vehicles. This has led to an expanded range of supports for electric vehicles, which include:
- the EV purchase grant of up to €5,000;
- VRT relief of up to €5,000 for the purchase of Battery Electric Vehicles and up to €2,500 for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles;
- 0% Benefit-in-Kind for Battery Electric Vehicles;
- the EV Home Charger grant of up to €600 towards the cost of the installation of a domestic charge point;
- grants of up to €7,000 for EVs for the taxi sector;
- Accelerated Capital Allowances for businesses;
- low rate of annual motor tax of €120 per annum; and
- tolling reductions of 50% for Battery Electric Vehicles and 25% for Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (which will be introduced later this year)
Budget 2018 effectively doubled the allocation of my Department from €5 million to €10 million to further support the growth of electric vehicles.
In this regard , earlier this month, a new Electric Vehicle Public Awareness Campaign was launched by the SEAI. This campaign includes a website (www.DrivingElectric.ie) providing information on buying and driving an EV including the models available and links to dealers to arrange a test drive. There will also be an advertising campaign “The Face of Driving Electric” which will highlight how electric vehicles are compatible with virtually everyone’s daily lives. Public road shows and fleet trials will be rolled out later in the year providing more people the opportunity to trial electric vehicles.
The increasing use of electric vehicles, along with increases in electricity production from renewable sources, will contribute to a significant reduction in carbon emissions. In addition, it will assist in reducing emissions of air pollutants associated with diesel and petrol vehicles, such as fine particulate matter, which have a detrimental impact on both human health and environmental ecosystems.
At the end of March this year, there were over 4,500 electric vehicles on Ireland's roads. I expect the wide range of support measures and incentives that are in place to increase the rate at which electric vehicles are being taken up.