Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: June 6, 2024
By Ailén Pedrotti
Italy flag

Ecobonus in controversy? Italian eMobility grants run out in 9 hours sparking opinions

After six months of delays, the Italian subsidies were finally unveiled. These granst surprised many by being exhausted within hours, but this does not equate to "total success" due to the various opinions generated.

“The sudden use of funds for electric cars shows, on one hand, the growing interest in Italy in this technology and, on the other, highlights the importance of developing incentive policies with a more programmatic and mid-term approach,” states Fabio Pressi, president of Motus-E.

This week, media attention has focused on the exhaustion of Ecobonus 2024, the aid plan for the acquisition of zero and low-emission vehicles.

Fabio Pressi, president of Motus-E

Over six months ago, promises from the Italian government led to speculation within the e-mobility sector and among users interested in purchasing such vehicles.

On June 3, the delays came to an end, and channels for requesting the funds opened, but not without some surprises…what happened?

The 201,042,172 euros available to subsidise fully electric cars was exhausted in just nine hours, sparking a series of indicators and opinions from the eMobility sector.

As Motus-E’s president stated, the interest in these segments is something to celebrate.

There was speculation about a decline in registrations in May, but instead, the Italian electric vehicle market remains strong.

Moreover, it is preparing for a significant surge in registrations in the coming months, following the introduction of new incentives.

However, the focus should also be on the management and operation of the Ecobonus.

“Citizens and businesses should be allowed to plan their choices in a well-defined context, avoiding turning the acquisition of the bonus into a sort of click-day after the market has struggled for months,” Fabio Pressi indicates.

From the perspective of the Italian association, grants are an indispensable tool to accelerate the penetration and widespread adoption of new technologies such as electric cars.

But the process should avoid measures that amount to mere temporary jolts.

Therefore, Pressi adds:

“We should start thinking as soon as possible about incentives and formulas capable of guiding the car market through the natural electrification process happening worldwide.”

That’s not all… Another dilemma: who benefitted from the subsidies?

Federmotorizzazione also shared its view on the launch of Ecobonus 2024.

“Registrations are always good for the automotive industry because they move the market, but the concern that most of these millions have benefited legal entities leaves us perplexed about the effectiveness of the incentives,” the association states in a LinkedIn post.

The association reminds that the subsidies were created to rejuvenate the Italian car fleet in favour of low or zero-emission vehicles.

Thus, giving rental agencies the opportunity to buy new vehicles through incentives, without the obligation to scrap the old ones, “undermines the whole plan.”

“Of course, it’s not the agencies’ or VAT numbers’ fault that this happened, but the attention should be on those who wrote the rules for this Ecobonus,” Federmotorizzazione asserts.

Furthermore, they emphasize the risk of facilitating those who need it least, to the detriment of individuals, families, and citizens who were hoping for financial aid to replace their old cars with less polluting ones.

Despite all this, the truth will be known once the Italian authorities make the details of the aid recipients public.

Focusing on the breakdown of the applications will reveal which channels benefitted the most, potentially leading to reforms in the rules and conditions for a future edition.

An interesting comment in this context came from none other than the Minister of Enterprise and Made In Italy, Adolfo Urso.

Contrarily, the official emphasizes the direction of the aid package for accessing eMobility segments:

“With this incentive plan, we support families in purchasing an eco-friendly car, renewing the car fleet and at the same time stimulating national production. It is a Plan for Italy, for families, and for Italian work.”

It should be noted that resources equivalent to 950 million euros were allocated, plus 50 million euros for L-category vehicles (mopeds and motorcycles with two, three, and four wheels).

Gian Primo Quagliano, President of Centro Studi Promotor

Among the novelties of the aids, contributions were issued proportionate to the environmental class of the vehicle to be scrapped.

This included Euro 5 class cars and the purchase of electric cars, plug-in hybrids, and combustion cars with a CO2 emission level of up to 135 g/km, as well as electric and non-electric motorcycles and mopeds, and light commercial vehicles.

Gian Primo Quagliano, President of Centro Studi Promotor, also provided his analysis, limiting himself to celebrating the results seen in just a few hours:

“A success for the government’s incentive campaign in favour of electric cars is emerging, which, unlike in the past, for the first time arouses great public interest.”

Car dealers also commented on the Ecobonus

Massimo Artusi, president of Federauto.

Massimo Artusi, president of Federauto, the Federation of Car Dealers, also publicly analyses the new Ecobonus 2024.

“With the opening of the platform to reserve incentives, there will undoubtedly be a recovery in sales that we hope will meet the government’s set targets,” he mentions.

In this sense, he emphasises: “We cannot fail to reiterate that with temporary measures like the one being implemented today – which, I remind you, is limited to the current year – and without a global and forward-looking vision, these objectives will be difficult to achieve and consolidate over time, as would be required by a truly effective transition strategy.”

Therefore, the president of the association representing dealers suggests the possibility of working to prevent the “real beneficiaries” from being unable to access the same.

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