Environment minister Miriam Dalli has said government will focus its efforts on electric vehicles, rather than hybrids after the grant scheme for the latter was taken up.
“If we truly believe we want to reduce pollution stemming from transport, the vehicles which truly reduce pollution are zero emission vehicles,” she said when asked on government policy regarding plug-in hybrids.
Plug-in Hybrids have a regular combustion engine but have batteries that can also be charged through mains. This gives them some autonomy on battery power. Government offered generous grants for the purchase of new electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles but Transport Malta announced recently it will be closing the scheme for hybrid vehicles after it was fully taken up. The scheme will end in May.
Monday’s call by the Nationalist Party for the scheme’s retention was made by the Nationalist Party and extended.
Dalli however said that government should be focusing on zero-emission vehicles.
“When we are speaking about plug-in hybrids, we are speaking about cars which give you a certain distance on the electric motor, which is quite low,” she said. “The moment the car no longer has electric power, users switch to internal combustion engines, and that is counterproductive.”
She stated that the same pattern has been observed in Europe for plug-in hybrid drivers, and not just in Malta.
“European Union legislation shows the technology that is currently preferred is zero emission technology,” she said.
The minister spoke to journalists after launching the #ClimateOn campaign to raise awareness for a more sustainable living.
Dalli said that the campaign should raise awareness for businesses, families and young people to adopt climate-friendly practices.
“Timely action is needed to reduce and adapt to the impacts climate change is having,” she said.