Cyprus Mail

Goal of 80,000 electric cars by 2030 ‘achievable’

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By Nikolaos Prakas and Tom Cleaver

The government’s goal of there being 80,000 electric vehicles in Cyprus by 2030 is “achievable,” Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades said on Tuesday.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), he said a total of 2,254 people had applied for government subsidies to buy electric cars since applications opened on Saturday.

We are pleased with people’s interest. We must admit that this exceeded our expectations. It shows that the public has realised the benefits of electric vehicles and that is why they are moving in this direction and showing such interest,” he said.

He added that he expects the retail cost of an electric vehicle to fall in 2025 or 2026, which adds weight to his belief that the government can hit its target by the end of the decade.

He said that there was “rapturous” interest in the used electric vehicle market, and that the government is now awaiting further details regarding those applications from the applicants.

“Let’s see what cars they’re thinking of bringing. I’m interested to see who this product is for, what cars they want to get, what they find overseas, and to see what that all means for the affordability of those buying used electric cars,” he said.

With this in mind, he estimated that incorporating the government’s subsidy into the market value and import cost of a small electric used vehicle, a consumer may be expected to pay around €10,000 for such a vehicle.

He said, “this is very encouraging, as it means that the middle class and those on low wages can save money on the cost of a car, especially if they buy a charger powered by solar energy under the ‘photovoltaics for all’ scheme.”

In addition, he said the number of large families applying for government subsidies to buy electric cars has “skyrocketed” of late, describing the trend as “very encouraging”.

On the other hand, he said applications for the purchase of hybrid vehicles were fewer in number than expected.

“We are monitoring this and the reason we set up the system this way was to have immediate information on how the market is responding to the subsidy offers, so we can easily adjust the programme to cater to more people,” he said.

He said that government subsidies to this end will help “achieve a reduction in the environmental impact of transport, and specifically the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and gaseous pollutants.”

Earlier, Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis had said, “the increased interest shown by our fellow citizens… is practical proof of the feasibility of accelerating the green transition of our country, especially in electromobility,” he said.

In particular, Letymbiotis said that 1,187 applications concern the purchase of a new zero-emission carbon dioxide (CO2) vehicle, 333 applications the scrapping and replacement with a new low-CO2 vehicle, 60 the purchase of a new zero-emission CO2 vehicle for a large family – the 60 available applications were exhausted before the 48 hours were up – 34 for the purchase of a new zero-emission CO2 vehicle for a disabled person and 104 applications for the purchase of a second-hand zero-emission CO2 private vehicle, also exhausting the available applications.

“Great interest has also been shown by businesses, as all four grants for the purchase of a new electric vehicle of category N2 (commercial gross weight 3,500-12,000kg) and two grants for the purchase of a new electric vehicle of category M2 (minibus with more than eight seats) have been exhausted,” he said.

He added that the application registration process is online for all sponsorship categories on the road transport website from until November 10 or until the sponsorships in each category are exhausted, whichever occurs first.

The news comes two weeks after the government announced its aim for all new cars bought in Cyprus to be electric by 2035.

Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letymbiotis had said the current target entails 25 per cent of new cars registered in the country to be fully electric in 2030, with a view to all newly registered vehicles being fully electric five years later.

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