Power surge for electric vehicles

3 mins read

In a push to promote electric vehicles the government is preparing another incentive scheme to tempt motorists to scrap their conventional cars by essentially offering them a way to charge their electric motors for free.

Apart from the scrappage incentive scheme already launched, encouraging people to buy electric, the Energy Ministry is preparing a new scheme to entice motorists to go green.

This scheme will make electric car owners eligible for a €2000 grant to install a small solar system with a capacity of up to 2 KW to charge their vehicles.

It will cover only small photovoltaic systems designed to charge electric cars. The average capacity of solar systems installed in homes is around 6-7 KW.

According to the Energy Ministry, the new scheme will have a budget of €1mln, which is more than enough to cover interest from the owners of the 157 electric cars already on the streets, and those who will opt to scrap their old car for an electric one through the government scheme.

Under the oversubscribed scrappage scheme, some 100 applicants will get up to €7,000 in subsidies for a new electric car.

The scheme will be financed by the Renewable Energy and Savings Fund which is waiting for the Electricity Authority of Cyprus to prepare a guide on installing the solar power system.

George Tsiamettis, an Energy Service official, said owners of hybrid cars (plug-in) will also be eligible for the grant.

The electric vehicle owners will have to install a photovoltaic system that will be integrated with the EAC grid through a net-metering plan.

“Electricity produced by the photovoltaic system will be fed into the grid and the car owner will be able to use the same amount produced whenever they desire.”

The grant will cover 50%-60% of the cost of installing a photovoltaic system, a smart metre that will allow users to receive power generated at any time from EAC’s grid, and a fast-charging point.

“An electric car owner, through the net-metering will be able to essentially charge their cars for free,” said Tsiamettis.

“Taking into account that the €2,000 grant is more than half of the installation cost, car owners will be able to recoup their money within a matter of two to three years through savings to be made.”

Tsiamettis argued that electric cars are cheaper to run.

It is estimated that a conventional car owner has to spend €10-12 for every 100 km they cover, whereas an electric car owner would only spend €3-4.

The Energy Service prefers to hold its horses before announcing the scheme’s launch as they are waiting for the EAC to complete a technical guide on how applicants can install such a system.

The scheme will only cover saloon cars for private use, the solar power system and the metre should be installed at the applicant’s residence.

Successful applicants will receive the grant as a refund, once they complete the installation.

Three categories

According to the scheme, successful applicants will benefit from grants ranging from €500 to €2,000 as there will be three categories.

The first category will include applicants who wish to install the small solar power system to charge their car, a smart metre and a fast-charging point. These applicants will receive a €2,000 grant.

The second category includes car owners who will benefit from a maximum amount of a €1,000 grant for the installation of a fast-charging point and a smart metre.

This category was set up to cover electric car owners who already have a photovoltaic system installed.

In the third category, car owners benefit from a €500 grant only for the installation of a smart metre.

This category is for car owners who already have a photovoltaic and a fast-charging point installed and only need a smart meter to allow them to benefit from the net-metering, that is to use part of the electricity produced, without being charged the EAC’s going rate.

The scheme provides a charging point system that is faster than the standard charger provided by the car dealership.

This scheme complements to the government’s scrappage scheme encouraging people to trade in their old bangers for a newer less polluting car.

A budget for the programme has been set at €3 mln, of which €2.5 mln is 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 used electric car will benefit from a €2,500 subsidy.

The budget available for the above is €500,000.

The car to be withdrawn should be 15 years or older, the age to be calculated from the date when the vehicle was first registered in any country as new up to the first day of the launch of the program.

It should also have been continuously registered for the last 10 years.

According to the scheme, if an owner wishes to replace his old banger with an electrical one then they are eligible for both grants totalling €7,000.

The scrappage scheme was launched on 4 February, allowing interest parties one month to submit their applications.

While the scheme was designed to cover only 100 cars, high demand has pushed the government to contemplate increasing the number of cars to be included.