FINLAND REVIVING ‘CASH FOR CLUNKERS’ SCHEME
Government is looking to reintroduce a highly successful "cash for clunkers" program to encourage motorists to trade in their old jalopies for more environmentally-friendly newer vehicles, the Finnish news agency Yle reported.
The government intends to offer the financial incentive throughout 2021. According to a government proposal, the cash would be offered to private individuals wishing to trade in a carbon-spewing old vehicle for a newer one with cleaner emissions. Most recently, the scheme ran for one year until August 2018. At the time traffic agency Trafi reported that the programme brought 6,600 new cars on Finnish roads.
A new twist in the plan is to extend the incentive to people who would like to transition from the a car to a power-assisted bike or to using public transport. "The cash incentive is the first activity on the roadmap toward fossil-free transportation. It will in part help meet emission reduction goals, as it will support the purchase of low-emission vehicles or a transition to an electric bicycle or public transport," Transport and Communications Minister Timo Harakka said in a statement.
To qualify for the cash grant, applicants should be planning to acquire a gas-powered, fully electric, rechargeable hybrid or other kind of vehicle with carbon dioxide emissions of a maximum of 95 grams per kilometer. The chair of the Finnish Central Organization for Motor Trade and Repairs Pekka Rissa pointed out that the automobile trade ground to a halt as a result of the coronavirus shock, especially during the spring. New car orders were up to 70 percent lower than the year before and next year hardly looks any better he noted. "The cash for clunkers scheme is absolutely a good addition for next year," he added.