Belgian car federation wants ‘clear mobility plan, no blanks’
At the opening of the 96th Brussels Motor Show, Philippe Dehenin, chairman of the Belgian car federation FEBIAC called upon the government to come with “a clear, comprehensive mobility plan, no separate initiatives”. Dehenin said the consumer today needs “clarity, confidence and direction for the choice of his new car, but also for an outlined mobility policy”.
FEBIAC points among others at the differences between low emission zones in Antwerp and Brussels, but also at the contradictory reporting on the future of the diesel engine. “This harms the image and the credibility of our sector and leads to frustration and doubts with the consumer. This way it becomes difficult to get him along in a future-oriented story”, Dehenin said.
On Thursday the motor show was opened officially by King Filip of Belgium with in his wake a whole bunch of government officials like minister François Bellot (Mobility), minister Marie-Christine Marghem (Energy), minister Bianca Debaets (Brussels Traffic) among others. On Friday the motor show is opening its doors to the general public until Sunday 21st.
How to evolve to zero emission
According to FEBIAC a clear mobility plan answers questions like ‘how will we evolve to zero emission driving?’ and ‘how do we divide demand for mobility between personal and shared or collective mobility?’ But also answers to the overall energy policy questions.
“In this road-map we don’t want taboos, but no fata morganas either. We won’t get a breakthrough in electric driving without energy certainty, without smart grids and without intelligent taxation”, Dehenin explains.
Not half of 19 billion euro vehicle taxes reinvested
For this taxation FEBIAC says a ‘tax pact’ is needed between the federal and regional governments. “It’s the third component of what I would dare to call a ‘master plan’ for Belgium”, the chair added.
He pointed at a ‘historical arrears’ in investments in mobility infrastructure. “Not even half of the state’s income of 19 billion euro from taxes on owning and using vehicles is reinvested in mobility infrastructure. Painful result is that the only classifications Belgium is leading in, are the ones of losing most hours in traffic jams and the worst road infrastructure.”
On the practical side, in the discussion about ‘cash for cars’ to get people to trade in their company car, the chair believes in a mobility budget that every employee can fill in the way he wants.
“Today the different means of transport are too much played off against one another. The quiet assassination of the car mobility doesn’t make the bus or train inherently more attractive. Let’s get rid of this negative culture.”