People in rural areas are more reliant on their cars and make longer journeys
A new grant scheme to help motorists in rural Ireland buy electric vehicles should be rolled out, according to Social Democrats Climate Spokesperson Jennifer Whitmore.
“There is currently a grant of up to €5,000 available for those who purchase an electric car – but that is being reduced and phased out from July. Nothing is planned to replace it.
“We know that people who live in rural Ireland have very few, if any, public transport options. We also know that people in rural Ireland tend to make longer journeys in their cars.
“The price of electric vehicles is prohibitive for many. If the government is serious about ensuring there is a just transition – and meeting its climate action targets – it must support people in rural Ireland who want to reduce their emissions.
“The first priority, in this regard, should be boosting investment in public transport options in rural areas. Connecting Ireland, the government’s current scheme, had a budget of just €5 million last year and €8 million this year. These are paltry amounts which betray a lack of ambition by government.
“In tandem with increased public transport investment, a dedicated grant scheme to help motorists in rural areas buy electric vehicles should also be introduced.
“People in rural areas are more reliant on their cars and make longer journeys – so this is a targeted measure that will help to reduce emissions from the transport sector.
“The existing grant scheme is being reduced and phased out from July. We now need a stand-alone rural grant scheme for electric vehicles.”