The Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan has announced a €15 million expansion of the Electric Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSV) to include taxis and hackneys.
In scheme amount has increased from €1 million last year, with grants of €20,000 now available to SPSV drivers who scrap their old vehicles for electric alternatives.
A €10,000 grant is available to drivers purchasing a new full battery eSPSV, while an additional €2,500 can be applied for to make the vehicle wheelchair accessible.
Drivers scrapping older vehicles with high mileage which are bigger polluters can access a €20,000 grant to purchase a new full electric vehicle, or €25,000 for a wheelchair accessible new battery electric vehicle.
Speaking about the expansion of the scheme, Mr Ryan said the scheme will help reduce the country’s emissions and added the Government will invest in providing more charging points for SPSVs.
This scheme will play a critical role in helping to reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions.
“An efficient and low emitting public transport system is a key priority for my Department. This scheme will play a critical role in helping to reduce greenhouse gas and air pollutant emissions while also normalising the use of electric vehicles in Ireland.
“As part of the support for the SPSV sector, the Department of Transport is investing in the installation of SPSV dedicated recharging infrastructure across the country.
“Last year, chargers were installed at Dublin and Cork airports, which are both already operational, as well as at Dublin (Heuston), Cork (Kent) and Limerick (Colbert) train stations which will be available to SPSV drivers by March. Further installations at key transport hubs will also be completed in 2021,” the Green Party leader said.
“Taxi-drivers have had a difficult time during the pandemic, and while government has provided ongoing support, we realise making an investment in a new vehicle at this time will be a challenge for many.
“However, we wanted to prepare the ground so that there are increased grants in place as the economy recovers,” Mr Ryan added.
SPSV drivers can also avail of VRT relief up to €5,000 when switching to an electric vehicle, in addition to the Domestic Charger Scheme (up to €600) and annual toll refunds of up to €1,000.
More information on the scheme and how to apply can be found on the National Transport Authority website.