Minister for the environment and climate action João Pedro Matos Fernandes has said the government is “trying to find” a way of increasing financial support for the acquisition of electric vehicles.
Talking at the Mobi Summit in Lisbon earlier this week, he said the avenue would be the Environmental Fund of 2022.
But for this to happen, the State Budget 2022 has to pass – and that’s the ‘conundrum of the week’ (as support for the document is still not assured).
However closer inspection of Mr Matos Fernandes’ assertions show what he really meant was that the government had actually been thinking of doing away with financial support for electric vehicles altogether, but that due to the current ‘fuel crisis’, it has decided to think again.
“The existence of electric vehicles is becoming commonplace”, he told reporters. “Therefore, the support that the State has given (in the past) should be reduced. I said this myself six months ago. But in fact what is at stake today makes us change our minds and therefore we are going to try to find in next’s year’s Environmental Fund budget (…) a way to increase support for the acquisition of electric vehicles”.
A tad confusingly however he then went on to suggest that what is really ‘on offer’ is simply more of the same.
Explains Expresso: “According to the proposed State Budget delivered on October 11, the government forecasts maintaining support for vehicles with low emissions, which covers automobiles and motorcycles, conventional and electric, and bicycles.”
Says the paper, “according to information available on the site of the environment ministry, private citizens can receive €3,000 from the Environmental Fund for the purchase of electric cars, as long as the total cost of that car does not exceed €62,500.
“In the case of electric motorcycles and bicycles, support is equivalent of 50% of the value of purchase up to a maximum limit of €350, with businesses have the right of four (of these) incentives.
“Beneficiaries of the incentive are obliged to keep the vehicles for a minimum of 24 months and prohibited from exporting them”.
In other words, there was very little in the minister’s remarks to show by how much the government is ‘thinking’ of increasing support for the purchase of electric vehicles; much more likely seems the fact that it is simply accepting that it may have to maintain support for another year – if the OE2022 actually passes through all the requisite voting stages.