atest press release from Cllr Stephen Stokes, issued on Monday, January 23rd 2023…
Cllr Stephen Stokes has welcomed a planned investment of €100 million in Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.
Cllr Stokes believes that reducing emissions, and creating cleaner air is vital for local communities. This investment forms an important part the Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Strategy 2022-2025.
However Cllr Stephen Stokes has expressed concern that the €5,000 electric vehicle purchase grant is to be slashed by Government. The cut is due to be implemented in Summer 2023, as part of the Budget. Cllr Stokes stated: “It is a positive step forward that more charging points are to be supplied. However the ambition is moot if people cannot afford electric cars. We need to be innovative when it comes to electric vehicles, and look at increased incentives, to encourage people to purchase them.”
Currently electric vehicle users can obtain a grant of up to €5,000 when purchasing an electric vehicle. However Minister Eamon Ryan recently reiterated that this is to be cut. Cllr Stephen Stokes is urging the Government to reconsider this choice. Cllr Stokes has also written to Minister for the Environment, Eamon Ryan, about the potential impact of slashing the electric vehicle grant.
Cllr Stephen Stokes believes that the Government may rue electric vehicle grant cuts, with increased expectations at a European level. In July 2021, the European Council submitted the Fit for 55 package. It considered several policy areas, such as economic, energy, energy and transport. Within the Fit for 55 package, the EU Commission sought to revise rules on CO2 emissions, for cars and vans.
The proposal increased EU wide reduction targets for 2030, and sets a new target of 100% by 2035. Cllr Stokes noted: “Effectively the European Union wants to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars, or vans, in the EU from 2035. This will only work if people have real alternatives. Now is the time to invest in public transport, and electric vehicle grants.”
Cllr Stephen Stokes pointed to France as a positive example. The maximum electric vehicle grant in France was €6,000. However President Macron boosted this to €7,000 from January 2023. France is heading the right direction as electric car sales have surged. Cllr Stokes concluded: “If the Government proceeds to cut the grant, electric vehicle sales may be slower than expected. In turn this could be counter productive to reducing emissions.
“If we want to reduce our dependence on petrol and diesel, the Government needs to be decisive and bold.”
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