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Sunday 25 August 2019

Scrappage scheme could give drivers incentive to go electric, says Bruton

  

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Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

A scrappage scheme to encourage people to swap their diesel and petrol cars for electric vehicles is to be considered, Climate Action Minister Richard Bruton has confirmed.

It came after he was challenged on why many of the proposals aimed at getting motorists to make the switch and help reduce Ireland's carbon emissions are more 'stick' than 'carrot'.

Asked if a scrappage payment is planned as an incentive, Mr Bruton said there is a commitment in the Climate Action Plan to look at such a scheme as an alternative to the current system of grants.

Grants of up to €5,000 are available for qualifying electric vehicles (EVs), depending on the cost of the car.

Mr Bruton also pointed to existing grants for EVs and plans to install more charging points as he outlined incentives to achieve the Government's target of one million electric vehicles on the roads by 2030.

And he predicted that as the network improves and the cost of the cars comes down "there will be a very significant tipping point" in the shift to EVs.

The Irish Independent previously revealed the price of new and used cars will go up by as much as €1,000 under plans to clamp down on emissions.

The proposals are in the Department of Finance's Tax Strategy Papers, which provide possible options for Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe ahead of the Budget. The papers set out a proposed new way of calculating Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) based on more stringent emissions testing. It would increase average car prices by €550.

The papers also call for a levy - estimated at up to €400 - on diesel and petrol cars due to NOx emissions.

Mr Bruton was speaking at the opening of car maker Nissan's Dublin headquarters, which is part-powered by solar energy and uses technology to reduce its carbon footprint.

Nissan Ireland boss James McCarthy encouraged employers to switch company fleets to EVs as a way of effectively giving employees a pay rise.

He said the exemption from benefit-in-kind tax for EVs is equivalent to a €9,000 pay increase for staff.

Irish Independent

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