Greece to offer incentives to boost electric car use

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ATHENS, Jan. 20 (Xinhua) -- The Greek government plans to provide incentives to promote the use of electric cars as part of wider efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and meet goals against climate change, Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis told a forum on ecomobility held in Athens on Monday.

A new National Plan for Energy and Climate included a goal that one in three new vehicles in Greece will be electric by 2030, he noted, acknowledging that this goal may sound ambitious today, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

The ministry is currently examining plans to offer incentives for the purchase and use of electric cars, such as tax cuts, lower duties and free parking, Hatzidakis and other ministry officials said.

In 2019, electric cars accounted for less than one percent of total car sales in Greece, and according to EU data, Athens, along with Milan, has the highest emissions rate from transport and vehicles (75 percent) and this was related to the fact that Greece has one of the more aged car fleets in the EU, Alexandra Sdoukou, secretary-general of Energy and Raw Materials, told the forum, according to AMNA.

"We want to recover the lost ground in ecological transport quickly... We are adopting the best European practices; we are creating the legislative framework; we place emphasis on attracting investments and making ecological transport more economical for the average Greek," Hatzidakis said.

Nine in ten vehicles on Greek streets today are running on gas, according to official data and a small percentage is on diesel or hybrids.

The ministry officials as well as experts among the speakers stressed that in addition to the higher cost of purchasing an electric vehicle compared to one running on gas, there are still a few charging points nationwide and no incentives to persuade citizens to invest on a new green car.

In addition to the electric cars, the Greek government intends to support also the use of natural gas in transport and the use of biofuel, Hatzidakis told the forum. Enditem

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