Italy announces billion-euro fund for electric car bonus

AFP - [email protected]
Italy announces billion-euro fund for electric car bonus
Electric cars charging at a hub in Rome in March 2016. Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

Italy on Thursday announced a 950-million-euro plan to boost the national electric car industry – a move welcomed by automaker Stellantis, which had accused Rome of a lack of commitment to e-vehicles.


Enterprises Minister Adolfo Urso said the new "car incentive plan" for 2024 involved three goals – to scrap the most polluting cars, to help families on low incomes swap out their old vehicles, and "incentivise production" in Italy.

"We must absolutely change course compared to what happened in recent years," Urso said at a roundtable on the automobile industry, according to a statement.

It said the package was worth almost one billion euros.

Stellantis, created in a merger beween France's Peugeot-Citroen and Fiat-Chrysler in 2021, and which includes Italian brands Fiat, Alfa Romeo, Maserati and Lancia, has already pledged to produce one million vehicles in Italy by 2030.

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But Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni earlier this month criticised the group, saying some choices it had made were "distant from Italian interests".

Stellantis made some 685,000 vehicles in Italy in 2022, slightly more than the 678,000 made by the group in France.

Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares hit back in an interview published earlier on Thursday, saying that in Italy there was "open opposition against electric motors".

The group's head of corporate affairs in Italy, Davide Mele, who attended Thursday's meeting, welcomed Urso's announcement.

"Today we have reached a new milestone in having the necessary tools to help a market that for too long has failed to take the correct path of energy transition, relegating Italy to the back of European development of four-wheel electrification," it said.

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"Now we can all get to the starting line, bringing our collective energy and our skills to obtain the best result."

He emphasised "once again our strong commitment to the country", repeating the one-million vehicle pledge.

But he said this was contingent on certain conditions, including the "long-term continuation of adequate incentives for the sale of electric cars" and the development of a charging network.


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