In 2020, the Flemish Government decided to discontinue subsidies for EVs. However, the Minister of Mobility, Lydia Peeters, has opted to reintroduce them.
This measure aims to narrow the significant price gap between electric vehicles and combustion engine cars.
Additionally, it seeks to align the stimulus initiatives with the successful ones implemented in neighboring countries such as France, Germany, and the Netherlands.
For instance, in April of this year, the Dutch Government allocated 690 million euros for incentives for EVs and the development of charging infrastructure.
This new Belgian grant is intended for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles, both new and used, and is available to private individuals, non-profit organizations, and shared mobility providers.
While the figures show a rapid increase in the market share of electric commercial vehicles, electric passenger car sales account for only 2%.
“This support mechanism should further stimulate and facilitate the transition to electromobility, which is why we are removing the financial barrier,” states Minister Peeters.
Starting in 2024, anyone purchasing a new electric car in the Flemish Region will now be entitled to a grant of 5,000 euros, which will be 3,000 euros for used ones.
The grant would be structured on a decreasing scale, decreasing by 1,000 euros per year for new vehicles and 500 euros for used ones.
Furthermore, the resale of the car within a period of three years will not be allowed to prevent fraud.
Romain Denayer, coordinator of EV Belgium, emphasizes: “This is an important and socially conscious measure to make electric driving more attractive and sustainable for individuals.”
What about the EVs in the rest of Belgium?
Belgium aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 47% by 2030.
However, it is currently one of the European countries that offers the least incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles.
Unlike other regions, the Belgian government (nationally) does not provide financial assistance for purchases.
However, it offers tax reductions or exemptions.
Sector figures reveal the Belgian market’s success in recent years and its growth potential in the next decade.
Since 2014, the country has implemented various programs to boost sales, from tax incentives to the banning of polluting vehicles.
The Federal Public Service for Mobility and Transport and the Belgian and Luxembourgish Federation for Cars and Bicycles (FEBIAC) have published registration data for the first half of 2023.
In these, EVs show a growth of 6.2% compared to the same period last year, while hybrids increased by 3.1%.
Thus, registrations of eVehicles and plug-in hybrids have increased by 9.3%.
On the contrary, the market share of gasoline engines decreased by 3.1% compared to 2022, as did diesel engines, with a decline of 6.3%.
Nevertheless, the data indicate that individuals continue to lean more towards combustion engine vehicles.
These represent nearly 70% of the market share among private customers.
Meanwhile, businesses are opting for electrified engines, which symbolize 53.5% of the professional market, with a predominance of plug-in hybrids.
In this regard, industry leaders express concern about the limited government incentives offered to encourage private individuals to buy electric cars.
Currently, out of the 43,671 electric vehicles registered since the beginning of this year, more than 39,000 are commercial vehicles.
This means that private customers are not involved in the adoption of electric cars due to their higher initial cost.
What is happening in other European Union countries?
Norway, known for leading the EV revolution, aims to eliminate fossil fuel cars by 2025.
Thanks to numerous incentives and subsidies, around 80% of their sales are electric cars.
The Nordic country is not just looking to replace combustion engines with electric ones but also encourage the population to opt for more sustainable alternatives.
Therefore, they have promoted alternatives such as walking, cycling, and public transportation while phasing out some tax incentives for electric cars.
This had a negative impact, leading to a 20% decline in private car registrations in the first half of 2023.
A similar situation is observed in the United Kingdom.
In 2011, the British Government began offering a 35% discount on the purchase price of electric cars.
This has encouraged the purchase of over half a million EVs.
However, these funds will now be allocated towards the installation of charging stations and supporting taxi and van drivers in the eMobility transition.
Despite this, according to the latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), the demand for electrified vehicles continues to grow.
The adoption of zero-emission cars in August increased by 72.3%, securing a market share of 20.1%.
Meanwhile, plug-in hybrids also saw a significant increase, rising by 70.0% to represent 7.7% of new registrations.