Electric cars should be supported differently

The money of taxpayers could be used much more efficiently than before to support electric car purchases. That was the main message of the letter of Clean Air Action Group to László Palkovics, Minister of Innovation and Technology after the government announced that it would review the conditions of these subsidies.

Unfortunately, the developers of the subsidies for electric car purchase so far have omitted several important aspects from the calculation. Thus, taxpayers’ money was donated to those who have enough money to buy an expensive car themselves (moreover, in many cases as a second or third car in addition to the existing petrol or diesel car). From this point of view, the government’s message of directing the applicants’ interest to cheaper electric car models may seem welcome. However, this is considered insufficient by the Clean Air Action Group. The primary aspect must be that the electric vehicle purchased with the subsidy contributes as much as possible to the reduction of CO2 and various air pollutant emissions. Therefore, the aid should target areas where the maximum mileage is expected from the electric car. There are many such areas, for example, in state institutions and local governments. Another area is the car sharing service, which is also useful because this way many people can experience driving an electric car. It would also be worthwhile to facilitate the rapid replacement of diesel and petrol taxis, especially in big cities and resorts.

As before, the Clean Air Action Group has now written to the Minister that a much greater impact on urban air quality, but certainly also on CO2 emissions, can be achieved if at least part of the subsidies is used for electric scooters or electric bicycles supported by the state.

In general, it would be appropriate to encourage the spread of light electric vehicles, about which the Jedlik Ányos Cluster sent detailed proposals to the government almost four years ago. This would enable to support more Hungarian citizens than with the electric car purchase subsidy provided to private individuals.

Translated by: Gábor Lakos