Transport Minister Aaron Farrugia says he aims to have parking spaces left vacant by car-sharing company GoTo reserved for charging private electric vehicles “very soon”.

“The plan is to give the parking bays to the energy ministry. We expect the situation to be resolved in the coming weeks,” he said.

He was commenting after Times of Malta reported how the GoTo spaces had become a free-for-all one year after Energy Minister Miriam Dalli said inter-ministerial talks were under way to decide what to do with them.

Farrugia said meetings are taking place between Transport Malta and GoTo representatives “to find a way forward and avoid legal action”.

GoTo ceased its operations in Malta in September 2022, citing a “lack of user uptake” in its services and the “deep impact” of the pandemic.

At the time, Dalli had said her preferred option was to allocate them to electric vehicles, adding: “We want to see more charging points available for those who have electric cars.”

The plan is to give the parking bays to the energy ministry

But of the six sites visited recently none were equipped with charging facilities for private vehicles.

Many were still sporting GoTo charging points and reserved parking signposts, while others had these covered with black tape. Some of the bays were occupied by petrol vehicles at the time.

At the peak of its operations, GoTo had some 450 reserved parking spaces across the country, with most located in St Julian’s, Sliema and Gżira. 

And with plans to expand the number of charging points to 1,200 announced in this year’s budget, should the former GoTo spaces be allocated for private EVs it could help the government hit its target.

Charging points are the remit of the energy ministry.

To reach this number, the government will need to more than triple its current stock which, according to the energy ministry, currently stands at 372. Of these, 32 are fast-charging and 154 are ‘medium-charging’ points.

By the end of June, electric and hybrid vehicles accounted for three per cent of the total number of vehicles on the road, or just over 14,000 out around 430,000, according to the National Statistics Office.  

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