electric vehicle

New Transport Minister Chris Bonett has kept mum on both the number of pending applications for electric vehicle grants and the time it will take for new applications to be paid, when asked for information on the scheme in Parliament.

Buyers receive €11,000 when opting to go electric, with an additional €1,000 (€2,000 in Gozo) on offer if they scrap their previous vehicle.

Minister Bonett was replying to a pair of parliamentary questions posed by Opposition MP Ryan Callus.

Mr Callus asked the Minister, who took over the transport portfolio from former Minister Aaron Farrugia in January, to specify the number EV grant applications that remain pending.

Minister Bonett declined to provide the exact number, saying instead that the information will be presented in a later session. This follows another statement, made by the Minister last month, that the backlog is almost cleared and the EV grant application process will “soon be up to date”.

The Minister for Transport also declined to state just how long anyone applying for the EV grant this year can expect to wait. Previously, the grant should have taken up to four months to be processed, but this seems to have rarely been the case in practice, with many applicants waiting over six months to receive the payment.

These delays came at a cost to EV buyers and autodealers alike, since the contract of sale typically specifies that the vendor should receive the outstanding amount (the amount of the grant) within six months – or interest starts to accue.

This led many buyers to pay the substantial sum out of pocket, while businesses suffered from the lack of cashflow.

However, last October saw the announcement that Transport Malta will be implementing a digital transformation to speed up the processing of these applications, leaving many hopeful that these long delays, and the headaches they bring, are behind us.

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