Still Some Love for Internal Combustion in Italy
Nations like Germany might treat internal combustion engines like a shirtless man lighting up a Marlboro in a neonatal intensive care unit, but some countries still feel that they have a place in the automotive landscape. Italy even plans to put public dollars behind their purchase.
When economies and industries are suffering, governments can sometimes do the unthinkable.
As reported by Reuters, Italy this week joined France and Germany into incentivizing car sales as a way of boosting both the economy and the country’s pandemic-hit auto sector. Unlike those countries, however, Italy won’t draw the line at only spiffing the purchase of green vehicles.
Italian consumers are not big on EVs; as such, the country’s government will extend incentives to the purchase of Euro 6-compliant internal combustion vehicles. These rides conform to the newest, most stringent emissions rules imposed by the European Union.
Rome will offer buyers of Euro 6 vehicles with a price lower than 40,000 euros an incentive of 3,500 euros ($3,930), if they scrap cars that are 10 years old or more, according to the legislation voted on by the Lower House’s budget committee. The existing subsidies for electric and hybrid cars will also be bolstered.
The legislation will be in force from August until December, with the costs to be shared between the government and car dealers.
The coronavirus hit Italy suddenly and hard, forcing the first emergency lockdown seen in the Western world. Italy’s car sales plunged; its factories shut down amid growing COVID-19 cases and weakened demand. A great number of vehicles built before the lockdown remain unsold, said Marco Opipari, an analyst at Fidentiis Equities.
“If you want to address this backlog of unsold cars and provide oxygen to the industry, you need to support purchases of combustion engine cars too,” he said.
And so Italy will, with conditions attached to give the internal combustion subsidies a bit of a green edge.
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