The car market is going through a difficult period, as evidenced by the statistics of new motor vehicle registrations. According to the data of the Statistical Service, this October, there was a recorded decrease of 16.6% compared to the corresponding month of 2020, while the registrations of saloon passenger cars decreased by 21.1%. However, the picture is expected to change in the near future after the announcement of the incentive plans to encourage the withdrawal of old cars and subsidies for the purchase of an electric vehicle. According to the latest information from the Ministry of Transport, the plans have been completed and are expected to be submitted to the Council of Ministers at today's meeting, after which the details will be announced. What we do know is that the subsidy will cover the difference between the purchase cost of a vehicle using conventional fuels and an electric vehicle. The projects have a budget of 45m euros and are funded by the Recovery and Sustainability Fund. However, a substantial penetration of electric vehicles in the car market is expected from 2025, when the production from the automobile industries will increase and therefore their price in the market will decrease.
The aim of the plan is to reduce emissions. However, apart from the switch to electric vehicles, the goal is also to reduce it - that is, to have fewer vehicles on the roads.
And for hybrids
Along with the sponsorship plan for electric vehicles, there will also be a plan for plugin hybrid cars, which is a combination of a conventional petrol-powered car and an electric vehicle. Part of the subsidy plan will be dedicated to the removal of older polluting cars. The target is 1300 vehicles per year, according to the Minister. Based on the first description of the plans, it shows that the government is serious in its effort to replace gas guzzlers with more environmentally-friendly electric vehicles since an additional grant is given to anyone who withdraws an old polluting car. In fact, a special provision will be included according to which anyone who withdraws an old polluting car will be entitled to an additional grant.
In total, 36 thousand electric cars will be put into circulation by 2030 according to a forecast by the Ministry of Transport. As Giannis Karousos stated in Parliament, this number corresponds to 25% of all vehicle registrations. The goal, which is included in the integrated framework for electric propulsion, is that as this number increases by about 50% per year, the vast majority of cars on the road will become electric by 2035. "We will start with 1,000 cars a year. After 2025-2026, when electric vehicles will cost less due to mass production, we expect a significant number of electric vehicles on the roads". At the moment there are only 200 electric vehicles registered.
89 million euro plan
The cost of the project for the subsidy of the purchase of electric vehicles amounts to 30 million euros. Another € 15 million relates to the plan to take polluting vehicles out of circulation and provide incentives for alternative options with low emissions.
In addition, the promotion of e-mobility in the public sector, amounting to 3.81 million euros, is being pushed. In total, 5m euros will be allocated for recharging electric vehicles.
Specifically, 200,000 euros will be absorbed by the creation of a regulatory framework for the development of an interoperable and efficient infrastructure for recharging electric vehicles and for the regulation of the relevant market. € 790,000 will be spent on the installation of 10 dual fast recharge points in public sector areas, such as public parking lots, hospitals, museums and post offices, while the cost of the grant plan for the installation of 1,000 recharge points in publicly accessible areas is € 4 million in premises, businesses and local authorities.
In total, this is an amount of 57.8 million euros for the promotion of e-mobility. Another 31.5 million euros will be allocated for the implementation of projects of the sustainable mobility plan.
All projects will be funded by the Recovery and Sustainability Plan.
A change of schedule will solve the traffic problem
The aim of the plan is to reduce emissions. It is known that in Cyprus, 50% of pollutant emissions come from transport, twice as much as 25% in other European countries. However, apart from the switch to electric vehicles, the goal is also to reduce it - that is, to have fewer vehicles on the roads. This will be achieved through the use of technology - smart lights - public passenger transport and the implementation of specific road projects. Another suggestion is the change in working hours, both for civil servants and for the staff of other services and schools. In the next period, a specific study will be conducted which will analyze the data from any change in the schedule of public service, schools and other services in the traffic outcome. "We want to solve the traffic problem and not just to commute from 7.30 in the morning to 9", stressed Mr. Karousos. The study will provide the basis and the scientific data and documented positions to put them as a basis for dialogue with the social partners. "We have to have numbers and statistics to be able to move forward. "Personally, I believe that with a change of hours we will see a big improvement in the traffic", he pointed out. The study will be conducted within the framework of the sustainable urban mobility project of Nicosia.
Three projects, some of which are already in progress in Nicosia, will significantly ease the suffering drivers experience on the streets of the capital. Specifically, the perimeter of Nicosia, the first phase of which is under construction, while the next phase is expected to be announced in 2022. The total cost of the two phases amounts to 98.3 million euros. According to the Minister of Transport, with the completion of the project, the number of cars in the center of Nicosia will be reduced by at least 25%. The upgrading of Hippocrates-Argyroupolis in GSP and the construction of an uneven junction in Stavros, where the lights of Kalispera will be removed, will also help to reduce traffic congestion.
Also important is the use of technology and in particular the use of smart systems and sensors - smart lights - that will give priority to vehicles.
Within the next quarter, the offers will be announced which concern the installation of the systems in 125 traffic lights, in Nicosia (70) and Limassol (55). The systems will communicate with each other with intelligent software and will give priority to ambulances and buses. The system has already been tested in Agia Fyla and based on the results, the travel time has been reduced by up to 70%. In addition, in the next 6-9 months, bus lanes will be created in Nicosia, which will then be used as a tram network.
Source: Kathimerini Printed edition