Fianna Fáil TD for Dublin North West, Paul McAuliffe, has called on the Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, to reopen the Electric SPSV (eSPSV) Scheme for Small Public Service Vehicles (SPSVs) without delay.
Grants under this scheme enable owners of SPSVs, such as taxis and hackneys, to buy electric vehicles.
SPSV drivers can apply for grants of up to €10,000 towards the purchase of a new, full-battery eSPSV, with a further €2,500 available to convert it to a wheelchair-accessible model. Taxi drivers are eligible for double the normal grant when they scrap an older, more polluting or high mileage vehicle and make the switch to electric.
Approved taxi drivers who could not draw down grants for electric cars due to global shortages will now have to reapply for funding this year which Deputy McAuliffe described as a 'waste of resources.'
Deputy McAuliffe said, “The electrification of the taxi fleet has been earmarked by Government as an important component in the transition to cleaner fuels, contributing to the achievement of our national targets under the Climate Action Plan for the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions in the transport sector.
“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.
"I am of the view that anyone who has previously been deemed eligible for the scheme should not have to re-apply. Grants already approved should be honoured considering the many taxi drivers who have already placed orders for new vehicles.
"If the Minister determines that it is necessary for drivers to reapply for the scheme, I would urge him to re-open the application process without delay given that it was already due to open from today.”