2nd February 2018

News: Motor Industry welcomes announcement by Minister Ross to help SPSV drivers move to Electric Vehicles

The Society of the Irish Motor Industry (SIMI) welcomes the recent announcement by Minister Ross of a grant scheme for Taxi/Limousine/Hackney (SPSV), aimed at increasing the uptake of new electric vehicles (EVs) in the Irish taxi fleet.

The electric vehicle initiative will give Taxi drivers up to €7,000 towards the purchase of a new electric car on top of the VRT relief and SEAI grants. Grant Incentives are available for a range of eligible private and commercial electric vehicles along with an SEAI home charger grant scheme.

Alan Nolan Director General SIMI commented: “SIMI having campaigned for incentives that help support the change to electric cars such as free Tolls, parking and supports for recharging installation, welcomes the announcement by Minister Ross of the new grant scheme for taxis and other small public service vehicles. As we start to see more electric vehicles on our roads this will help to normalize the electric cars for consumers and their use as a public service vehicle will aid in providing motorists with that experience, while benefiting the environment.

As we have underlined before, strategies to increase electric car sales, such as the very welcome BIK changes introduced in Budget 2018 take time to impact on purchasing decisions and on supply, as cars for the Irish market are ordered up to six months in advance and we are competing with other countries for supply. Once such incentives are confirmed as being in place for a significant period (as the Minister has signalled in relation to BIK) we will see the market respond strongly and build to a much higher level over a number of years.

Ireland’s national fleet will continue with a mix of engine types over the next few years with Diesel (57%) and Petrol (36%) engines the greater market share in the new car market and still the required option for very many vehicle buyers. As an Industry we are fully committed to the supply of electric vehicles into the marketplace and we are confident that continuously improving technology will deliver an ever increasing market share for electric vehicles into the future. Incentives will play an important part in helping consumers make their purchasing decision to EVs a new cleaner technology”.

BMW Group Ireland
Paulo Alves, MD of BMW Group Ireland, said “We have witnessed a surge in interest from customers in EVs since the government announced these initiatives so it’s great to see this positive effect. We are now at the tipping point with customer demand and technology. In 2017 we sold just over 100,000 electrified vehicles and plan to grow that significantly this year with models such as the BMW i3. As demand grows so will our range, including a new fully electric (BEV) MINI next year, a BMW X3 BEV in 2020 plus many more so that by 2025, our line-up will comprise 25 fully or semi-electrified models”.

Hyundai Cars Ireland Ltd
“Welcoming the new incentive along with those brought forward by the Government to date which have been well thought out and will prove effective in increasing EV sales in Ireland. Stephen Gleeson Managing Director Hyundai Cars Ireland Ltd said the changes in the most recent budget will take time to get increased production allocations for 2018 from the factories. However with supply freeing up and the imminent launch for 2019 of the 500km range Kona electric SUV we are confident that Government policy to encourage EV adoption will begin to make significant strides in 2019. We would encourage the Government to continue supporting EV’s as the only long-term solution to the CO2 problem.”

Nissan Ireland
“Welcoming the new grant scheme the CEO of Nissan Ireland, James McCarthy said: “As pioneers of EV driving Nissan welcomes the new grant scheme to encourage SPSV drivers to switch from diesel to electric driving. There has never been a better time to do so. The 100% electric, zero emissions Nissan LEAF is the best-selling EV in Ireland. The new Nissan LEAF launches in Ireland in April with a range of 378 kilometres on a single charge making it the perfect partner for SPSV drivers who want to avail of the scheme and follow in the footsteps of the 2,000 Irish motorists who already drive a Nissan LEAF”.

Renault Group Ireland
Patrick Magee Managing Director Renault Group Ireland commented “The Renault Group welcome the incentives launched by the minister. It shows we are starting to get real about the future of EVs in Ireland. What the registration figures don’t show, is the fantastic increase and awareness now on EVs as we are seeing in our showrooms. We must also remember that EVs are going strong across Europe so all manufacturers are low on EV stocks at the moment. The switch to EVs will not happen over-night but the government has proven that they are behind Evs for the future and the consumers will start to see this”

Volkswagen Group Ireland
“We have been pleasantly surprised with the lift in interest in EVs since the announcement of concessions on BIK for such vehicles with a dramatic increase in orders for the eGolf in particular,” said Paddy Comyn, Head of Group Communications for Volkswagen Group Ireland. “Supply is going to be the main challenge for us in 2018, but we would expect to see most orders fulfilled in time for 182. We will roll out more EV dealers across Ireland this year and next in anticipation of a raft of new electric models coming in 2020.”

For further information

Teresa Noone, Marketing & PR Manager, SIMI 01 6761690/087 7928844 tnoone@simi.ie

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