Electric cars need renewable energy

More evidence that the Cyprus government is way behind the general public in understanding the urgency of decarbonising our lifestyles.

A scrappage incentive scheme launched to encourage Cypriot motorists to replace their old high-emission bangers with new electric ones has received five times the number of applications expected.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos is to propose the expansion of the scheme to include more grants for electric cars under the weight of the surprising number of applications.

“We will try to meet as many requests as we can depending on the budget available. We also discussed this with the Finance Minister, and we will have more to say on the matter,” said Karousos.

Part of a broader incentive scheme launched to encourage Cypriots to replace their old cars with newer more eco-friendly ones, the plan drew in some 450 applicants in less than two days, while it had only budgeted for 100 grants.

A budget for the programme was set at €3 mln, of which €2.5 mln was earmarked for the withdrawal of old cars and replaced with a new car with a conventional engine meeting the emissions criteria.

The subsidy of €2,000 is available for the purchase of new conventional vehicles, while €5,000 will be given for buying a new electric vehicle. This does not require the withdrawal of an old car.

Car owners replacing their older vehicle with a new electric car are eligible for both grants worth €7,000.

A great scheme in theory but it seems that the government hasn’t thought it through. Get real!

My worry is that because Cyprus is so reliant on electricity from filthy oil fired power stations, the proud owners of the electric cars will have to recharge their batteries from the EAC’s existing high pollution power.

There will still be an overall reduction in CO2 emissions but less than there would be if electric car owners were able to recharge their cars from a clean renewable electricity supply.

Come on Cyprus government, it is time you encouraged voters to apply for solar panels on their roofs and then expedited the approvals, instead of sitting on the applications for years, as it has been known to do.

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