Tuesday 6 December 2016

Nissan sells its 1,000th electric vehicle as demand for eco-cars rises, despite questions over charges

Published 24/01/2016 | 02:30

Many European countries incentivise drivers of electric vehicles by offering toll-free driving and providing a good infrastructure for charging points
Many European countries incentivise drivers of electric vehicles by offering toll-free driving and providing a good infrastructure for charging points

Nissan, the country's biggest seller of electric vehicles, says that demand for electric vehicles (EVs) continues to rise throughout Ireland - despite the threat of steep fees at public charging points. It has just sold its 1,000th model in Ireland.

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"We sold about 400 in 2015 and we expect to sell about 750 in 2016 and 1,000 in 2017," said Nissan Ireland managing director James McCarthy.

Fully electric vehicles, as distinct from hybrids, have been widely available for purchase in Ireland for about four years. However, the infrastructure to support them - charging points installed around the country by ESB - only caught up in 2014.

Plans to charge for the service were met with anger in December and have been shelved pending a review. The charges would have brought EV running costs in line with running a diesel car, critics said.

Ireland will almost definitely fall short of the Government's target of getting 50,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020, McCarthy said.

"If we are serious about meeting emissions targets, we have to better incentivise EVs," he said. "Look at Norway, where EV drivers can use bus lanes and get free passage through tolls and on ferries."

His biggest ask is that taxes on company cars are scrapped. "Benefit-in-kind rules mean employees pay tax on 30pc of the value of a company car. EVs are exempt from this in the UK and it has worked very well."

Sunday Indo Business

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