EV grants for rural motorists may continue

Electric vehicle grants for motorists in rural areas will only remain if there are safeguards against its abuse, according to Zero Emission Vehicles Ireland (ZEVI).

Grants for the purchase of new EVs are to be reduced from this July and gradually phased out, but ZEVI, which is part of the Department of Transport, says supports for only motorists in rural areas may continue.

Aoife O’Grady, head of ZEVI, said targeted supports for rural buyers is needed to prevent any loopholes.

“I live in Dublin but I have grannies in the country,” she said. “I don’t want a situation where you register a car at granny’s address up a boreen but it’s for driving in Cork, Limerick or Dublin.”

O’Grady added that ZEVI had a limited budget and providing public money to continue grant-aiding a product that was becoming more affordable and popular in any case would not be the best use of public money.

She said as rural motorists drive more than their urban counterparts, getting them to switch to EVs would have a greater impact in terms of reducing carbon emissions.

ZEVI last week announced plans for an increase in the number of public electric vehicle charging points in a €100 million expansion plan over the next three years.