Government helping Irish taxis to go electric

James McCarthy from Nissan, Transport Minister Shane Ross, and Alan Nolan from the SIMI.

James McCarthy from Nissan, Transport Minister Shane Ross, and Alan Nolan from the SIMI.

There has been a broad welcome for the recent announcement by Transport Minister Shane Ross of a grant scheme for taxi/limousine/hackney vehicles (SPSV ), aimed at increasing the uptake of new electric vehicles in the Irish taxi fleet.

The electric vehicle initiative will give taxi drivers up to €7,000 towards the purchase of a new electric car on top of the VRT relief and SEAI grants. Grant incentives are available for a range of eligible private and commercial electric vehicles, along with an SEAI home charger grant scheme.

The director general of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry, Alan Nolan, says his organisation has campaigned for incentives to help support the change to electric cars, such as free tolls, parking, and supports for recharging installation.

"We welcome the announcement by Minister Ross of the new grant scheme for taxis and other small public service vehicles. As we start to see more electric vehicles on our roads this will help to normalise the electric cars for consumers, and their use as a public service vehicle will aid in providing motorists with that experience, while benefiting the environment.

"As we have underlined before, strategies to increase electric car sales, such as the very welcome BIK changes introduced in Budget 2018 take time to impact on purchasing decisions and on supply. Cars for the Irish market are ordered up to six months in advance and we are competing with other countries for supply. Once such incentives are confirmed as being in place for a significant period [as the Minister has signalled in relation to BIK], we will see the market respond strongly and build to a much higher level over a number of years."

Nolan says Ireland’s national fleet will continue with a mix of engine types over the next few years with diesel (57 per cent ) and petrol (36 per cent ) engines having the greater market share in the new car market, still the required option for very many vehicle buyers.

"As an industry we are fully committed to the supply of electric vehicles into the marketplace and we are confident that continuously improving technology will deliver an ever increasing market share for electric vehicles into the future. Incentives will play an important part in helping consumers make their purchasing decision to EVs a new cleaner technology."

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