Air quality is a relevant problem in most extended urban areas in Italy, particularly the ones located in the Northern part of the country. This is what emerged from the recent report (“Mal’aria 2019”) published by Legambiente. Although the annual average has improved over the last decade, peaks in concentrations of fine particulate matter and ozone remain high, especially in winter and summer months. In 2018, 55 departmental capitals exceeded their daily limits for fine particulate matter and ozone (fixed at 35 days for PM10 and 25 for ozone). Among the main sources of emissions, motorised traffic is the main offender.
The budget law 145/2018 introduced an Ecobonus and an Ecotax which has been in force in Italy since 1 March 2019. The Ecobonus will allow those who buy vehicles with reduced environmental impact, i.e. with CO2 emissions below 70g/km, to receive some incentives in the form of a reduction in the purchase price. The Ecotax, however, provides that cars purchased, including leased and registered from 1 March 2019 to 31 December 2021, are subject to the payment of a tax in proportion to the amount of CO2 emitted per km above the threshold of 160 g/km.
The amount of the Ecotax shall be divided into four bands, with the following amounts:
- 1,100 euro for cars emitting between 161 and 175 g/km,
- 1,600 euro from 176 to 200 g/km,
- 2,000 euro from 201 to 250 g/km
- 2,500 euros from 250 g/km upwards.
The aim of the Ecotax is to make it cheaper to buy new cars that are less polluting than high CO2 emission models, improving air quality in urban areas. The introduction of Ecobonus and Ecotax is expected to give a boost to the renovation of the circulating Italian car fleet, replacing most polluting diesel and petrol-fuelled vehicles with cleaner ones.
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