Budget update - electric and hybrid cars

Government extends benefit-in-kind at zero to 2022 for company electric cars

A zero per cent rate of benefit-in-kind tax applied to employees opting for full-electric vehicles is to be extended to 2022.

Additionally, there are to be some changes to the €3,800 grant provided to companies purchasing electric vehicles. The €3,800 grant will continue for companies purchasing electric vans but will cease for businesses purchasing electric cars or plug-in hybrids. The grant, administered by the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), is on top of the €5,000 tax rebate on Vehicle Registration Tax (VRT) on full-electric vehicles.

The changes apply to all applications received from Wednesday, October 23rd. This gives consumers two weeks to apply for purchase grants under the existing rules – provided that the vehicles are registered and the grant claimed before the end of 2019.

The Department of Environment said the decision to discontinue the €3,800 for companies buying electric cars and plug-in hybrids was because generous benefit-in-kind tax relief that is available for these vehicles is considered adequate incentive to drive growth in this sector.

Funding

Meanwhile, there has also been changes to the grant systems for hybrids. From October 23rd, the €5,000 SEAI grant will only apply to plug-in hybrid vehicles with CO2 emissions below 50g/km and that can travel on fully-electric mode for a minimum of 50km. For further information on this scheme, visit the SEAI directly.

The changes were announced as part of a wider range of budget measures relating to electric vehicles. The Minister for Finance announced additional funding of €8 million for electric vehicle purchase grants, bringing the total allocated in 2020 to €14 million.

 

Investment in critical electric vehicle infrastructure

A further €3 million has been allocated for new electric vehicle charging infrastructure, bringing the total budget for the department to €6 million, in addition to €10 million support to develop the public charging network from the Climate Action Fund.

There was also €1.5 million allocated to the Department of Transport to roll out fast-charging points to taxi ranks at transport hubs. The department also said that next year it will introduce new regulations to require new buildings with more than 10 parking spaces to provide for the installation of charging points and, from 2025, non-residential buildings with over 20 car parking spaces to install charging facilities.