State aid to buy electric cars will be extended in Latvia

Take note – story published 1 year ago

The number of electric vehicles purchased with State aid is still small due to the lack of cars on the market. Car dealers say that the time of car deliveries depends on the manufacturer, which can take between six months and 1.5 years. The responsible Ministry has promised to extend the period of the State aid program until the end of the following year, Latvian Radio reported on January 13.

Since April, only around 600 electric vehicles have been purchased with state aid, including about 50 used. Overall, €10 million is available in the support program. The Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development has previously estimated that the number of electric vehicles purchased could reach 3,800 by the end of this year.

"Car logging and booking is usually carried out a year in advance. So we'll see a more objective scene in the spring when customers' logs of last year show up. 2022 has passed in war, and there was a post-Covid period. The manufacturers of these vehicles had logistical problems with the purchase of parts abroad, and this was reflected accordingly in the volume of new electric car production. However, the logistical problems have gradually been solved, and I concede that this year there will also be many more electric vehicles available in Latvia, and the program will move forward more smoothly," said Gints Kārkliņš, Environment Investment Fund Finance Manager.

Cars are mostly purchased in the price range of 20 to 30 thousand euros, and residents have used most of the aid in the region of Rīga.

The head of the sales part of the car dealer Norde, Eduards Ptičkins, said that the problems of logistics have not yet been solved and that the time of deliveries of the car depends on the manufacturer, which may take between six months and a 1.5 years. The interest in state aid was initially high but has subsided since the autumn.

"The electric-car buyer has always been a smart buyer who bills the costs very much and plans ahead [..]  A large part of these customers have also installed solar panels in their homes, and we expect demand growth in the spring, because we believe that the buyer of the electric car is calculating and wanting to understand what their costs are, the energy produced and consumed, etc. During the winter season, we allow many to wait for a little to understand their situation," said Ptičkins.

Raimonds Kaša, spokesman for the Climate Change Department of the Climate and Energy Ministry, said that around 25% of the available funding is currently spent on the support program.

The duration of the State aid program will therefore be extended until the end of the following year. The amendments are to be approved in the spring. At the same time, a program of support for the purchase of electric vehicles also for legal persons is currently being developed.

Currently, individuals have the possibility of receiving €4,500 when buying new electric cars, and €2,250 for second-hand electric vehicles and new externally charged hybrid vehicles. At the same time, an additional aid of€1,000 will be eligible for the scrapping of an existing vehicle. The condition is that the owner of the car has to drive it at least 52 thousand kilometers over five years.

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