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Electric Vehicles

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 1 June 2021

Tuesday, 1 June 2021

Ceisteanna (204)

Darren O'Rourke

Ceist:

204. Deputy Darren O'Rourke asked the Minister for Transport his views on the need to reform the SEAI electric car grant scheme to ensure those households that need the greatest financial help purchasing an electric car can do so; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29404/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

My Department is providing significant supports to households and businesses who wish to make the transition to an electric vehicle.

The purchase grant supports are distributed through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for the purchase of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

In order to qualify for the relevant supports under the SEAI scheme, the electric vehicle must be classified as M1 (private passenger vehicle) or N1 (light commercial vehicle). The scheme currently provides up to €5,000 in grant support for the private purchase of a new electric car (M1) and up to €3,800 for the purchase of a new electric van (N1) by a company or where a motor dealership is purchasing a demonstration vehicle. My Department is making an allocation of €27 million in 2021 for grants under this scheme.

This grant scheme encourages behavioural change and supports the Government’s commitment to achieving a 51% reduction in transport emissions by 2030.

The grant schemes are kept under continuous review to ensure that they are as effective as possible in driving the decarbonisation effort. In this regard, I announced in March that the terms of the Purchase Grant Scheme will be amended from 1 July 2021, so that vehicles with a market value greater than €60,000 will no longer qualify for grant aid. This is to ensure that funding is targeted most effectively at those who might not otherwise buy an electric vehicle and where the availability of Government support is most likely impact upon a decision to purchase an EV.

As well as the purchase grant scheme, there is a significant range of other supports to incentivise the take-up of electric vehicles, including:

-Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) relief of up to €5,000 for battery electric vehicles and low rates of VRT for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles;

- Benefit-in-kind tax relief for battery electric vehicles;

- Grant support towards the full cost of installation of a home charger up to a maximum of €600;

- Lowest rate of motor tax (€120 per annum) for battery electric vehicles and generally low rates of motor tax for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles; and

- A discount on tolls of 50% 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).

- Grants of up to €12,500 to support the purchase of electric vehicles in the taxi/hackney/limousine sector

- €15 million to support taxi and hackney drivers in scrapping their older vehicles and replacing them with electric alternatives.

- Accelerated Capital Allowances for businesses;

Over the coming years, we will see through the combination of improvements in technology, reductions in vehicle purchase prices, increasing driving ranges and model availabilities from manufacturers, as well as Government incentives and new investment in the recharging network, a further boost to the current positive policy environment under which electric vehicle sales are rising steeply year on year.

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