EVLN: Malta capped ice station permit amount> boosting EV use

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EVLN: Malta capped ice station permit amount> boosting EV use

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http://www.maltatoday.com.mt/environment/energy/81328/limiting_number_of_petrol_stations_could_boost_use_of_electric_vehicles_expert_suggests
Limiting number of petrol stations could boost use of electric vehicles,
expert suggests
11 November 2017  Paul Cocks

[image  
http://content.maltatoday.com.mt/ui_frontend/thumbnail/684/0/electric-car-charging-station3.jpg
(type2/L2 EVSE)
]

'The government’s decision to completely remove registration tax on the
importation of electric and hybrid vehicles should also help entice used car
dealers to start importing affordable second-hand cars from abroad,'

Issuing no more permits for petrol stations while incentivising the
installation of electric charging points in car parks and public spaces
could lead to a greater uptake of electric and hybrid vehicle use in Malta,
a leading proponent of EV use told MaltaToday.

“The government’s decision to completely remove registration tax on the
importation of electric and hybrid vehicles should also help entice used car
dealers to start importing affordable second-hand cars from abroad,” he
said.

Neville Zammit, who holds an MSc in Environmental Economics and is the
administrator of the Facebook group Electric Vehicles Malta, said that the
new budget measure will mean a reduction of €2,000 to €3,000 on the purchase
cost of a new vehicle.

“However, passing on this benefit to the consumer is still at the discretion
of the car importers,” he said.

In fact, unlike the €8,000 grant already in place and offered by the
government to whoever purchases any electric or hybrid vehicle, the new
measure – announced in the budget speech for 2018 – does not make it
obligatory for importers and dealers to pass on the savings to the
purchaser.

The prices of the most common electric or hybrid vehicles sold on the local
market today start from €7,500 for Twizy, a snazzy quadricycle by Renault,
to €32,000 for Toyota’s Prius, a non-plug-in hybrid that was launched more
than 10 years ago.

Zammit said that the new measure notwithstanding, electric and hybrid
vehicles are still more expensive than their diesel or petrol counterparts
and might still be too expensive for many buyers.

“When you factor in the home charger installation, the change in lifestyle
required to accommodate occasional charging and other considerations, it may
still not make sense for much of the population,” he said.

“However this is changing rapidly with the improvement of battery
technology, the spreading of infrastructure and of course the fall in
prices.”

As to whether Malta’s infrastructure is geared up for a greater uptake of
electric vehicles, Zammit was more optimistic.

“Such a modal shift does not happen overnight. Were we ever ready to switch
from horse drawn carriages to cars?” he said. “Slowly but surely we will be
getting there and the government is committed to increasing the number of
charging stations from today’s 100 to around 400 in two years.”

With Malta now set to discuss a cut-off date for the sale of new petrol and
diesel vehicles, as many EU and western countries are doing, as well as car
manufacturers themselves, more will need to be done to entice Maltese
drivers to switch to electric.

As things stand, the uptake so far is hardly anything to call home about. Of
the 287,422 passenger vehicles on Maltese roads at the end of June this
year, a mere 1,064 were electric or hybrid vehicles, amounting to just
0.37%.

And that’s considering only passenger vehicles. If one were to also take
into consideration goods-carrying vehicles, special-purpose vehicles,
agricultural vehicles, buses, minibuses, coaches and road tractors, that
percentage would fall to 0.3%.

Zammit acknowledged that, in the past few years, the government had done a
lot to financially encourage the uptake of EVs in Malta. He said that the
latest measure announced in the budget boosted government incentives to over
€10,000, making Malta’s grants one of the highest in the world and on par
with those offered in some states in the US and cities in Scandinavia.

“What can be done better is to stop issuing permits for new petrol stations,
and heavily incentivising car parks, work places and supermarkets to offer
free charging stations,” Zammit said. “Businesses can already benefit from a
€2,000 grant when installing such parking spots, what it needs is maybe
better marketing.”
[© MediaToday]




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