PN pledges to extend electric vehicle grant to second-hand cars

The initiative is aimed at promoting a circular mentality

The Nationalist Party has pledged to extend the existing electric vehicles grant for people looking to purchase the car second-hand.

PN MP David Thake revealed the pledge during a press conference on Friday. He explained that promoting second-hand purchases helps foster a circular mentality, especially since electric cars remain viable years after the first purchase.

There are 8,000 electric vehicles on the road, but Thake pointed out that there are only around 60 charging points available across Malta. He said these points don’t have adequate signage, and there is no strong penalisation to prevent people from parking in the spaces with regular vehicles.

Another PN transport proposal is increased car-sharing or carpooling initiatives, which Thake said requires serious planning. “Ian Borg and his ministry have not done any serious planning.”

Earlier in the press conference, PN MP Toni Bezzina praised government’s plans to offer free public transport next October. However, Bezzina warned that free transport is useless without upping the frequency of buses arriving at each stop, in turn increasing the public transport fleet so more people can use the service.

Additionally, bus stops need arranging. Both Bezzina and Thake pointed out that many stops don’t provide shelter from the weather. Thake specifically referred to the bus stops near the roundabout at It-Telgħa t’Alla u Ommu, where commuters are forced to stand in the heat or rain until the bus arrives.

To get more people onto buses, Thake said the first step would be to improve the service. He said that the price of public transport isn’t the real deterrent, “the price is the inconvenience of catching public transport”.

He added that fiscal incentives could be explored to stop people from using their cars altogether, possibly by paying people outright to give up their vehicle. However, he insisted that this needs to be part of a national discussion on public transport.

“It shouldn’t be imposed on people by central government,” he said.

On the metro, Toni Bezzina slammed government for procuring an expensive feasibility report without including further studies on the geological or environmental impact of the proposed project.

“It was a €2 million report,” he pointed out.

Bezzina added that no money was allocated to the metro project in the 2022 budget, suggesting that the report was more of a PR exercise on the government’s side.

Apart from this, Bezzina pointed out that the Ħal Far area now designated for a motorsports track was earmarked to serve as a maintenance depo for the metro shuttles.