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Bigger grants for electric taxis

Bigger grants for electric taxis
Budget for electric taxi grants increases to €15 million in 2021.

There's more grant money available for those looking to buy and operate an electric taxi, or to use the technical phrase, a Small Public Service Vehicle (SPSV). The Department of Transport has announced a much bigger budget to help support such a switch - up from €1 million last year to €15 million this year - and grants of up to €20,000 now available to existing SPSV drivers who scrap older, high mileage vehicles for new fully-electric models.

Scrapping an old taxi doubles the grant

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. Those scrapping older, more polluting, or high mileage vehicles are now eligible for double the normal grant if they make the switch to electric with €20,000 available for a new full-electric or €25,000 for a wheelchair accessible new battery electric vehicle.

More chargers at national transport hubs

A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said: "With the support of the Department, a dedicated charging infrastructure is currently being developed across the country. Last year, chargers were installed at Dublin and Cork airports, as well as at Heuston, Kent and Colbert train stations, with more installations at key transport hubs to be completed in 2021. SPSV drivers can avail of further financial incentives including VRT relief, up to €5,000, the Domestic Charger Scheme of up to €600 and annual toll refunds of up to €1,000."

FREE NOW welcomes the increases

Welcoming the move, Niall Carson, Country Manager Ireland at FREE NOW commented: "Supporting a more sustainable future is a huge focus for FREE NOW so to see this level of commitment from the Minister and his department is really encouraging and is such a boost for our sector. Seeing the investment in the grant scheme grow to €15 million this year is incredible.

"In September of last year, we ourselves introduced a new eco booking option on the FREE NOW app, enabling passengers to choose more environmentally-friendly transport options such as electric or hybrid taxi vehicles. We have also recently announced that we will invest €6m euros into home chargers - a key pain point - for Irish taxi drivers to further support them in making the switch. With the extension of the eSPSV grant scheme, we could see a significant increase in the number of these vehicles available to our customers. Together with the recent announcement supporting the legislation of e-scooters in the Irish market, we believe we are moving a step closer to achieving a truly sustainable and integrated transport system for Ireland."

Published on February 7, 2021
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