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Electric car grant scheme overwhelmed

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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.

The Transport Ministry says it will now need two more weeks to extend the scheme due to the huge interest showed.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Wednesday that he 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 in two weeks a proposal will be tabled, 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 has drawn in some 450 applicants in less than two days, while it had only budgeted for 100 grants.

The scheme was launched on 4 February, with applicants having until 5 March 2020 to state their interest, within hours the target was overreached for electric vehicles.

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.

People interested in the scheme will have just one month to apply online at https://rtd.mcw.gov.cy/.