Over the past year, Transport Malta and the Ministry of Transport have launched various schemes on the purchase of transport means to reduce air pollution. Two schemes which are paying off are the purchase of electric cars and the use of motor-cycles with small-engines.
TVM spoke to Transport Malta officials about the incentives and benefits these schemes offered.
Transport Malta also noted that the scheme for those who choose to scrap their old vehicle to introduce a newer vehicle which pollutes less, especially if the car is powered by electricity, is much sought after. .
Gilbert Agius, Transport Malta Director, told TVM that so far there were over 1,000 electric-powered vehicles on the road. As a result, Transport Malta would strengthen their infrastructure, and increase the amount of charging points with around 100 already in place.
“We’re thinking of increasing another 130 charging points, 20 of which would be fast charge, which would be able to charge a vehicle between two and three hours.”
Mr Agius explained the increased incentives to encourage more drivers to opt for electric powered vehicles saying that this was part of the strategy to reduce pollution caused by cars powered by diesel or petrol.
“The benefits are big because it basically means not paying any registration tax on imported electric powered vehicles, both new and second hand, and that the first five years of the license is free and from the fifth year onwards you pay € 10. ”
Mr Agius said that the € 600,000 that the Government had allocated for subsidies on the purchase of electric cars this year had already been used up. He said that Transport Malta had applied to the Ministry of Finance for a further allocation of half a million euro. Mr Agius said that they already had over 170 applications which means that every year electric vehicles were increasing between 150 and 200.
Meanwhile, the scheme that began in 2016, to encourage more drivers to opt for small motor-cycles in lieu of cars, had positive results.
Gilbert Agius said that motorcycles with 125cc engines, could be driven after driver complete a course of 10 hours training. “Today nearly 8,000 people have this license. Basically if 8000 people have a license for a 125 engine, what we’re saying is that there are 8,000 people who are not using their cars but using motor-cyles.”
The 125cc motorcycle engine can be driven by anyone who is 18 and over and has a category B license. In this way this has done away with the requirement for another license to drive a motorcycle.