The government was criticized on Wednesday for restricting the grant for the purchase of electric vehicles to new cars only.

The Used Vehicles Importers Association (UVIA) and the Malta Car Importers Association (MCIA) said the grant should apply to both new and used electric vehicles because the latter did not produce any more emissions than the former.

As it were, the government grant - of up to €12,000 when an old vehicle is scrapped - was not enough for people in the middle and lower-income brackets to opt for electric vehicles instead of those powered by internal combustion engines, the importers said. 

The measure would also not contribute sufficiently for Malta to convert to non-emission cars.

While the UVIA and MCIA were unimpressed with the budget measures, a rival association that represents importers of new vehicles spoke more positively about them. 

The Association of Car Importers congratulated the government for raising the grant.

It said that this was another step in the right direction towards reaching the desired goals towards electrification of vehicles.

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