You have 5 free articles left this month. Get your free Basic subscription now and gain instant access to more.

Macedonia to subsidise purchase of electric cars, natgas systems, governing party pledges

Macedonia to subsidise purchase of electric cars, natgas systems, governing party pledges VMRO-DPMNE/All Rights Reserved.

SKOPJE (Macedonia), September 27 (SeeNews) - Macedonia will provide up to 5,000 euro ($5,620) in subsidies for the purchase of an electric car, and vouchers of 300 euro for car owners who decide to convert their vehicles to run on natural gas from 2017, the governing VMRO-DPMNE party has said.

These measures aim to reduce air pollution in the country, which is caused mainly by emissions from car engines and the burning of wood for heating, VMRO-DPMNE said in a statement late on Monday. The party led by former prime minister Nikola Gruevski will face an early general election on December 11, 2016.

In addition to receiving a subsidy, a buyer of an electric car will pay 5% VAT instead of 18%, and will pay no road toll taxes, nor additional excise or customs duty, VMRO - DPMNE pledged. An electric car owner will also benefit from free parking space and faster charging. Such an automobile costs around 35,000 euro at present, the political party said.

For those who could not afford to buy an electric car, the government will provide vouchers which will be distributed through tenders to owners willing to convert their cars to gas from petrol. This applies to the more polluting car types Euro 1, 2, or 3, which are all cars produced until 2006. Usually, converting a petrol engine to gas costs 500 euro.

Nikola Gruevski stepped down in January to open the way for early parliamentary elections initially scheduled for April 24 under a EU-brokered deal aimed at resolving a months-long political crisis in the country.

Currently, Macedonia is governed by an interim cabinet tasked with holding fair and democratic elections. The interim government headed by Emil Dimitriev from VMRO-DPMNE comprises several ministers and deputy ministers from the main opposition Social Democratic party, SDSM.

($=0,8898 euro)