Plan to encourage use of electric vehicles published


A package of incentives to encourage motorists to switch to electric vehicles was unveiled in Dublin this afternoon by Minister for Energy Eamon Ryan and Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey.

Under a scheme to cut the State’s €6 billion annual bill for imported oil, businesses that purchase electric vehicles will be able to write off 100 per cent of the cost.

A fund of €1 million has also been set for Sustainable Energy Ireland to research and promote electric vehicles.

A national task force is also to be set up to examine options for the roll out of infrastructure.

Currently electric vehicles can be “plugged in” at home but the Government wants to see a state-wide network of “filling stations” where drivers of electric cars can plug in and recharge, or swop batteries for ones which are already charged.

The Government has set a target of 10 per cent of all vehicles in the transport fleet to be electrically powered by 2020. This will represent some 250,000 cars on the Republic’s roads over the next 12 years.

However the Government has confirmed that electric bicycles will not qualify for its €1,000 tax free allowance for cyclists introduced in the Budget.

The Ministers said they believes the willingness of small states like Ireland, Denmark and Israel as well as others in South America to incentivise the use of electric vehicles, would encourage vehicle-manufacturers to speed up development and production of mainstream electric vehicles.