Additional incentives for electric cars should be introduced here.

According to a report by the World Health Organisation, air pollution from particulate matter, from both petrol – but more so diesel engines – is causing serious respiratory and cardiovascular illness from diseases such as lung cancer. According to other health experts – life expectancy is being reduced by 9 months solely due to the ingestion of these toxic fumes.

Currently 1000 Dublin buses are diesel, in London there has already been substantive move away from diesel and towards electric and hybrid.

In my view, we should be introducing the same initiative here as a matter of urgency.

Moreover, I believe we should also take a leaf out of Norway’s books in terms of increasing incentives for people to buy electric cars.

According to the latest figures, 37% of new cars bought in Norway  last January were electric. This represents the highest rate of Electric Vehicle adoption globally. Although I’m aware that those who purchase electric and hybrid cars in this country, are currently paying a lower rate of VRT than those buying petrol or diesel – there  are several other incentives offered by the Norwegian Government  that we could introduce here also. These include:

  • No VAT on new cars – a big saving on a normally very high VAT rate of 25%
  • Free parking in public car parks
  • Driving in bus lanes
  • Free access to toll roads
  • Free road ferries
  • Lower annual road taxes

Furthermore a ‘negative incentive’ is that petrol is taxed heavily in Norway, making it expensive. Electric Vehicles cheap to run by comparison.

With a 25 year legacy of support for electric vehicles, Norwegian experience can’t replicated overnight. But there’s no doubt that we can do far more to motorists  to make the switch .

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