Government launches toll reduction scheme for electric vehicles
July 2nd, 2018
The government has confirmed a toll charge reduction scheme for electric vehicles but has excluded fully hybrid vehicles from the plan.
The scheme, which came into effect yesterday, means that electric vehicle owners will only pay half the toll rate and plug-in hybrid vehicles will get a 25 per cent toll reduction.
The move is a part of the government’s commitments to achieve zero transport emissions by 2030 and the Minister for Transport, Shane Ross, TD said that he was “delighted” to launch the new scheme.
“This incentive is integral to the series of Governmental support measures aimed at promoting a low-carbon transport future,” he said.
Minister Ross said that eligible private car owners may be able to accumulate up to €500 in toll savings per annum and up to €1,000 in savings for goods vehicles.
Electric vehicle motorists can avail of the discount by signing up for an EV tag with an approved Toll Tag Provider. Drivers who are already in possession of a toll tag account will be contacted by their current tag provider with details on how to transfer into the scheme.
An electric car gets all of its power from electrical sources making them a non-polluting zero-emission vehicle. Plug-in hybrids are partly using energy supplied from the electricity grid which helps produce zero emissions for longer in city conditions.
However, full hybrid vehicles have been excluded from the scheme because they take their initial energy from petrol and have a more limited full electric range. Therefore, the government has decided to incentivise those who choose fully electric cars and plug-in hybrids.
Speaking on RTE Radio One this morning, Motoring Correspondent Donal Byrne said that full hybrid vehicles “far outstrip the sales of electric cars”.
He added that people who have moved towards hybrid will be “both surprised and disappointed” at being largely excluded from the scheme.
The Irish EV Owners Association released the latest sales figures on their website today. According to the report, 884 new and used import electric vehicles have been registered in Ireland this year. A total of 3,627 electric vehicles have been registered since 2007.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport told The Green News that a reduced tolling regime was “perceived as a meaningful incentive to encourage a large cohort of people (namely private car commuters) to transition towards electric vehicles (EVs).”
By Manus Boyle
Manus is an MA Journalism student at DCU. He has an interest in the environment, the outdoors and live music.