Incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs) will need to be kept if the Government is to get close to its climate action targets, politicians will be told on Tuesday.
The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) will also tell the Committee on the Environment that the the supply of EVs for the used-car market could be boosted if the State were to replace its planned new fleets of electric cars every two years.
Government aims to have almost a million EVs on Irish roads by 2030 as part of the Climate Action Plan.
It has promised a “generous regime” of tax incentives including “substantial vehicle registration tax (VRT) relief and benefit-in-kind (BIK) exemptions”.
It has also pledged to mandate the purchase of zero-emission electric vehicles for State fleets where available and operationally feasible by end of 2022. There is also to be a new scheme for the rollout of 200 on-street public charging points per year.
SIMI is due to be represented at the committee on Tuesday by its director general, Brian Cooke, while TDs and Senators will also hear from representatives of the ESB’s e-cars unit.
Mr Cooke’s opening statement says the motor industry “can, and will deliver EVs in large numbers” while cautioning that this is “not just in the hands of the industry”.
He will say it “needs the State’s continued assistance to help build the conditions that will allow motorists confidently move to an EV at the earliest possible stage”.
Mr Cooke will argue that “we need the State to continue its investment in supporting electric vehicles.”
While accepting that supports “can’t last for ever” and the State has been “generous to date”, Mr Cooke will tell committee that there has been a “a gradual erosion in recent years of these supports”.
His statement says it is “too early in the EV project to start this withdrawal” and it is “vital that the SEAI [Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland] grant, VRT relief and other supports currently available are maintained out to 2025, at which time they can be reviewed.”
His statement adds that Ireland is competing with other EU countries for the supply of new EVs and to ensure it can optimise its share, “incentives must remain”.
A focus on the business fleet and company car sector would boost used EV availability Mr Cooke says as such cars are typically released to the market when they are two to four years old.
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