Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Timmy Dooley has said that Budget 2018 must contain clear, attractive and effective incentives to support Irish motorists in making the move to electric cars.

“Ireland is already playing catch up when it comes to moving to electric and thereby decreasing our dependence on fossil fuels.

“Budget 2018 is an opportunity for the Government to send out a clear and unambiguous message that it wants to support Irish motorists in making the move.

“The use of electric vehicles will play a major role in addressing climate change and can also cut costs for the motorist.

“There are many things that we can do to help ease and incentivise the transition.

“I hope to see measures in Budget 2018 such as removing motor tax for all EVs for the next five years, eliminating motor tolls for five years, and rolling out more fast-charge points across the road network to remove any threat of range anxiety.

“In addition, consideration must be given to removing Benefit in Kind for electric vehicle users thereby increasing their uptake amongst the larger commercial fleets.

“Ireland’s current target under the EU Renewable Energy Supply Directive is to ensure that 10% of its transport energy comes from renewable sources by 2020.

“Unless we dramatically increase the widespread use of electric vehicles, Ireland risks failing to meet this target and will be subject to fines from the European Commission.

“Minister Naughten needs to impress upon the Finance Minister the importance of including a suite of measures that will help motorists make the move to electric.

“Many of our European colleagues are already far and away ahead of us in terms of making the move to electric cars. Unless we up our game and accept that we need to incentivise their use, we risk paying very significant fines for failing to meet our targets,” concluded Dooley.