Wednesday, 3 February 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
82. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has considered implementing measures to reduce the price of electric cars to give buyers a wider variety of options given that the importing of used cars from the UK is no longer economically viable due to VAT increasing the price of second-hand cars; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [5031/21]
The Government is fully committed to supporting the roll out of EVs so as to ensure the ambitious commitments as set out in the Programme for Government and the Climate Action Plan are met. In this regard, this year will see continued support to further enable the roll out of Electric Vehicles and related charging infrastructure. In addition to the continuation of vehicle grants and home and public charging, the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) will also be introducing support for destination chargers for locations such as hotels, shopping centres or places of employment while a new EV marketing campaign has been launched by the SEAI to assist citizens in making informed choices on the environmental and economic benefits of driving an electric vehicle.
In addition, at Budget time, I announced a 2021 allocation of €15 million will support up to 750 taxi and hackney drivers in scrapping their older vehicles and replacing them with zero-emission capable electric alternatives. The scrappage scheme will be open for taxis and hackneys reaching their maximum permissible age limit in 2020/21. Up to €20,000 will be made available for eligible drivers switching to a new all-electric vehicle and up to €32,500 for those moving to a wheelchair accessible full electric vehicle.
The list of current supports to incentivise the take-up of EVs includes:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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).
It is widely expected that, over the next number of years, the combination of improvements in technology, reductions in vehicle purchase prices, increasing driving ranges and model availabilities from manufacturers, coupled with Government incentives and new investment in the recharging network will maintain the current positive policy environment under which electric vehicle sales have risen steeply in recent years, albeit from a low base.