The Department of Transport is to cut the value of the purchase grant for plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV ) from €5,000 to €2,500, effective July 1, 2021.
The department says the change will be made to “support the most efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles on the market”, with funding being “refocused to prioritise battery electric cars”.
The update to the scheme is in line with the wider policy approach being taken by other EU member states due to the increasing recognition that PHEV emissions in the "real world" are often higher than "official" emission levels.
Sustainable Energy Association of Ireland (SEAI ) grants for fully electric vehicles will continue at a rate of €5,000. In addition, the grant for both EVs and PHEVs will only apply to cars under €60,000 from July 1 this year. This is to ensure 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 to impact on a decision to purchase an EV, the department says.
The SEAI grant scheme aims to encourage behavioural change and support the Government’s commitment to achieving a 51 per cent reduction in transport emissions by 2030. The Government continues to provide a wide range of supports to incentivise the purchase of EVs and EV charging infrastructure, and has allocated €36.5m in 2021 towards the promotion of EVs and the decarbonisation effort with €27m for the EV Purchase Grant Scheme.
The latest figures from SIMI show sales of electric cars continued to accelerate in the first three months of 2021, rising by more than 71 per cent year on year.