2 December 2013

The Maltese Minister for Transport and infrastructure Joe Mizzi this afternoon launched a mid-term conference of the PORT-PVEV project entitled ‘Electro-mobility Islands’.

He said that the scope of the project was to determine how to make ports and port-areas cleaner, whilst also making them more energy-efficient. This will be done by employing electro-mobility together with the generation and use of renewable sources of energy to provide different forms of clean transportation.

This project will also propose additional future measures of how to make ports in Malta and Sicily cleaner.

According to the latest national greenhouse gas inventory, road transport currently accounts for 16.9% of the total greenhouse gas emissions generated in Malta.

Mizzi said that the government was concerned at the figure, and deemed it “unacceptable”.

“It is the aim of this government, therefore, to work towards making transport in Malta environmentally sustainable,” he said.

Mizzi said that government had decided to support the electrification of transport especially because of the 2020 climate change and energy targets that Malta needs to achieve.

“Air quality levels brought about by traffic generated pollution also needs to be given its due attention,” he said.

“The fact that these electric vehicles do not emit any harmful pollutants means that the deployment of these cars on our roads will improve our air quality by the removal of traffic related emissions for the benefit of our citizens,” he said, adding that noise pollution will also be reduced as an effect of such vehicles.

Mizzi said that government was planning that by the year 2020, there would be no less than 5,000 electric vehicles on Maltese roads, together with mandatory targets for the respective infrastructure.

Mizzi said that government will be launching three other initiatives to show its commitment towards electro-mobility and environmental sustainability.

It will be launching the Malta National Electro-mobility Action Platform, a joint initiative between the ministry of transport and Transport Malta.

“Besides the promotion of electro-mobility in Malta, the role of the MNEP will be to oversee the implementation of the Action Plan which is made up of various projects and initiatives that will further the electrification of transport,” he said.

The government will also be incentivising the uptake of battery electric vehicles by giving a substantial grant of €5,000 for the purchase of a battery electric vehicle.

This measure will enter into effect as from January 2014 and the grants will be given on a first come first served basis.

This scheme will be part of the scrappage scheme which was announced in the Budget for 2014.

Lastly, Mizzi said that, as of next year, the government will embark upon a gradual process of changing its current vehicle fleet to a much cleaner and energy-efficient one.

“We need to lead by example,” the minister said.

“When considering how to achieve our aim of making transport environmentally sustainable, we have considered the benefits that this technology will bring to Malta. And we have decided; electro-mobility is our preferred choice. Now make it yours,” he said.

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