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Motorists 'should reassess electric' when buying new cars as laws banning petrol, diesel cars being drafted

The minister said grants and subsidies will be removed ‘in due course’ for motorists buying electric vehicles.

CLIMATE ACTION MINISTER Richard Bruton has said motorists planning on buying new cars in the new year “should reassess electric” as the Department is next month expected to publish draft legislation banning the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030. 

It is understood the Government has ordered the preparation of a new law to ban new petrol and diesel cars registered by 2030, following on from measures outlined in the Climate Action Plan published earlier this year. 

The legislation has the input of a number of different Government departments and will be published in the Climate Action (Amendment) Bill 2019. 

Bruton said motorists who might be planning to buy petrol or diesel cars from next month should reassess their decision and consider purchasing electric vehicles despite the more expensive price tag. 

“I think there are many pioneers that want to purchase electric vehicles now and I encourage them, and we financially encourage them to do so, and we’ll ensure there is a charging network to support them,” he said. 

“I recognise that there are many people who will continue to purchase traditional vehicles. People need to recognise that if they are considering purchasing over the next couple of years – not everybody will be buying this year – they should reassess electric as an alternative.

It might be dearer upfront but its running cost over its lifetime compensates for much of that extra cost up front.

The minister said the Government plans to double the existing electric vehicle charging infrastructure in the new year and said that by 2025 – in just five years time – the number of new electric vehicles on the road, currently around 4%, will have shot up to between 12% and 14%. 

The long-term goal is to double that further to around a third of all vehicles on the road being electric by 2030. 

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At present, there are government-funded grants available to motorists who move away from petrol/diesel toward electric-powered vehicles. 

However, as more motorists make the leap, those grants will not be needed and cease to be available, the minister said. 

“I think it has to be recognised, say by 2024, people will recognise it will be much cheaper to have an electric vehicle than a diesel or petrol car so you will no longer need subsidies in due course.

“We will be having an obligation on anyone who owns a car park with more than 30 vehicles, will have to have electric vehicle charging infrastructure so it won’t always fall back on the state to fund the extension of electric vehicles.

“As their range grows longer, the home charge will be sufficient and you will see more bodies other than the public sector funding the infrastructure.”

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