Ireland finalizes plug-in vehicle incentive scheme; Nissan Leaf buyers rejoice

2011 Nisan Leaf – Click above for high-res image gallery

Consider it done. Nissan Leaf buyers in Ireland can finally take delivery of their electric hatchbacks now that the sovereign state's plug-in vehicle incentive program has been finalized. All vehicles with CO2 emissions under 75 grams per kilometer are eligible for a purchase subsidy of up to €5,000 ($7,256 U.S. at the current exchange rate), but with Ireland committing to a mere €5 million ($7.26 million U.S.) budget, only the first 1,000 or so vehicles sold will be eligible for the subsidy.

In early April, Paul O'Sullivan, marketing director for Nissan Ireland, said that Irish buyers had placed 400 orders for the Leaf and 58 of the electric hatchbacks had arrived from Japan. However, Nissan Ireland was unwilling to release the 58 vehicles until the state's plug-in incentive scheme was in place. With the grant program receiving final approval, the Leafs should roll out to Irish customers soon. The Leaf's MSRP in Ireland is €34,995 ($50,781 U.S.), but the purchase subsidy effectively cuts its price down to €29,995 ($43,526 U.S.). Hat tip to Guillaume!

[Source: Ireland Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources]
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Minister Rabbitte launches Electric Vehicles grant scheme

Dublin 19th April 2011

Minister Rabbitte today announced the opening of the Electric Vehicle grant scheme. All vehicles with CO2 emissions of less than 75g CO2 per km will be eligible for a purchase subsidy of up to €5,000. Qualifying vehicles sold after 1 January 2011 are eligible for the grant, and a total of €5m has been allocated for this purpose.

Minister Rabbitte said that "this scheme puts in place the foundation for greener transport. Electric vehicles will reduce Ireland's reliance on imported fossil fuels in the transport area and will also in future play an important role in reducing our transport sector emissions."

The aim is to have 10% of vehicles (approximately 220,000) powered or part powered by electricity from the grid by 2020.

With new lithium-ion battery powered cars offering ranges of up to 160km, consumers in Ireland are well suited to become early electric vehicle adopters.

This scheme will encourage these early adopters and allow Ireland to quickly benefit from this technology while enhancing our energy independence and reducing transport emissions.

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