A Douglas councillor is calling on the government to do more to speed up the adoption of electric vehicles in the island.
Frank Schuengel, who also works as a motoring writer, feels that the ’electric revolution’ on Manx roads ’will come sooner than we think’ and that more should be done to help those willing to buy an electric vehicle now.
He said: ’One look at the automotive industry right now makes it clear that the internal combustion engine is on the way out.
’Current plans seem to revolve around the year 2030 for the biggest changes to take place, but recent sales statistics paint a very different picture.’
A total of 162,022 full battery-electric vehicles have been sold in the UK to date, up 88.9% year on year and accounting for 10.6% of all cars sold this year.
Mr Schuengel added: ’Electric cars are also being sold at a much faster pace on the Isle of Man than most people anticipated, meaning the switchover is bound to happen much sooner than currently planned.
’The government must ensure we are not left behind when it comes to getting more electric vehicles onto our roads.
’Right now, there are little to no incentives available for petrol or diesel drivers to take the plunge.
’While other countries offer generous subsidies for private and commercial buyers of electric vehicles - up to EUR 9,000 in Germany for example - all an Isle of Man buyer currently gets is a lower vehicle tax rate. This often doesn’t make up for the still higher base price of many new and used electric cars, meaning the way we will drive in future remains out of reach for many.’
There has been a number of public electric vehicle charging points installed across the island recently, plus a special electric vehicle tariff that makes charging your car at home more affordable has also been introduced.
’A subsidy to make electric vehicles more affordable would be an important step towards more zero emission vehicles on our roads,’ Mr Schuengel said.
He suggested the government should also consider offering grants or subsidies for the installation of home charging points, which can usually cost more than £1,000 to fit.
’A scrappage scheme to get especially old and polluting cars off the roads would also be beneficial,’ he added.
Mr Schuengel said: ’Getting more zero emission vehicles onto our roads is also in our own interest as a place that likes to pride itself for its clean air and immaculate countryside.
’The island’s electricity grid can support many thousands of electric vehicles and what we need now is government support to get people behind the wheels of them and give everyone a chance of being part in the biggest change to mobility since the motorcar was invented.’