Latvia: EV subsidies for those driving 15.000 km a year
Latvia will introduce a new EV subsidy program in 2022, offering buyers of a new battery-electric car (BEV) a premium of up to €4 500. For a second-hand BEV or a new plug-in hybrid, the premium can be as high as €2 250.
That subsidy comes on top of exemption of the existing registration tax and yearly tax of ownership or free parking in Riga and Liepaja and the right to use bus lanes. One remarkable condition: Latvians will have to drive at least 15 000 km a year with their subsidized EV for four years, or a total of 80 000 km. If not, they will have to pay back part of the money.
10 million euros program
The 10 million euros program will start in 2022 and last for two years, or until the fund dries out, the Latvian Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development announced in a press release. The final conditions have to be approved by the government in the fall of this year.
“The transport sector generates almost a third of the total greenhouse gas emissions in Latvia, where the largest source of emissions is road transport,” says Minister Artūrs Toms Plešs.
“Consequently, the support program will be one of the measures to promote Latvia’s progress toward achieving climate goals and to provide the population with the opportunity to purchase and use modern and up-to-date vehicles for daily travel purposes.”
Extra discounts by dealers required
Apart from the quite unusual minimal kilometers condition, other conditions apply, like a maximum list price of €50 000 without VAT for a new car and not allowing the buyer to sell the car within the next years.
The subsidy won’t go to the buyer directly, but only to Latvian registered car dealers, manufacturers, or second-hand car resellers that can deduct the premium from the list price. To get the premium, the latter will have to add additional benefits for the customer, like even more ‘discounts, attractive leasing conditions, maintenance, etc.’.
Latvia, a country of roughly the size of Belgium and the Netherlands together, has a population of 1 920 000 and 636 671 registered passenger cars with a highway network of 1 651 km.