Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that that after conducting the necessary studies the government will start on an ambitious project to change Gozo into a destination of zero-emission vehicles. This changeover he said can be a pilot-project for Malta. Malta can in turn become the first European state running its cars on electricity and be a pilot-study for a European nationwide roll-out of products that the industry has to offer.
The Prime Minister gave the closing address of the eMobility Summit 2019.
E-Cars commission to set a cut-off date
Muscat said that an E-Cars Commission has been established and is formed by the Environmental Resources Authority, Transport Malta, Malta Resources Authority, the Ministry for Environment and the Ministry for Energy. This Commission has been tasked to establish a cut-off date for the importation and registration of conventional fuel vehicles. PricewaterhouseCoopers have been asked to carry out a study on financial and social impacts of this eventual changeover. This report is expected to be ready in the coming weeks. The Committee has also requested a list of options to counteract envisaged limitations or constraints. The report will also analyse emissions-impact with every option which will be presented.
The Prime Minister mentioned the challenges the country faces from a financial perspective; adding that these should be changed into opportunities. During 2017, the customs duties on the importation of petroleum products amounted to €146 million which is tantamount to 3.7% of the Government revenues, said Muscat, whereas the customs duty on electricity was equal to just €3.3 million in 2017.
Electric vehicle grants
Muscat said that a grant of €7,000 euros is given to those registering a new electric car and scrapping another conventional vehicle which is at least 10-years old from the year of its manufacture, while a grant of €4,000 is given to those registering a new electric vehicle without the option to de-register and scrap another internal combustion engine propelled vehicle. A further grant of €4,000 is given for the purchase and registration of a second-hand electric vehicle which should not exceed 15,000 km and not be more than 36 months old. There are also grants for electric quadricycle and pedelecs.