Tax exemption for plug-in hybrids and CNG vehicles may not be renewed
According to Lydia Peeters, Flemish Minister of Energy (Open Vld), it is unsure whether the tax advantages for cars running on CNG and plug-in hybrids will be extended after 2020. Peeters believes a (too) long extension of the tax exemptions for ‘transitional technologies’ is illogical.
Owners of cars powered by natural gas and plug-in hybrids (hybrid cars whose batteries can be recharged by the grid) are still exempt from the annual traffic tax and the car registration tax, until December 31, 2020. It is not yet clear whether the advantageous measure will be extended.
Next government must take a decision
“At the moment I cannot take a decision on this. These choices must be made by the next Flemish government, and I cannot make any prior assumptions”, Peeters answered in the Finance Committee of the Flemish Parliament on Tuesday to a question from Matthias Diependaele, floor leader (N-VA).
Peeters is not in favour of a long extension. “Plug-in hybrids and natural gas are seen as temporary transition technologies, as a stepping stone to pure emission-free vehicles,” she says.
“The climate resolution states that by 2030 only half of new cars will be allowed to run on fossil fuels. If we only have 11 years left to halve the share of fossil new cars, it is not logical to stimulate these transition technologies until 2029.”
European fines will accelerate distribution of zero emission cars
The minister is convinced that even without tax exemptions, the owners of CNG cars and plug-in hybrids will still pay less tax than those who drive fossil fuels, because they emit less CO2.
Moreover, manufacturers also have to meet standards for the average emissions of their newly sold cars. They can only achieve this by selling sufficient low- or zero-emission models under penalty of European fines”, Peeters adds. “That’s why manufacturers are under pressure to offer affordable models, which will accelerate the distribution of low emission cars”, she concludes.