Dutch car market shrinks, electric car sales doubles
New car sales in The Netherlands are down 10% in the first half of this year compared to 2018. Sales of electric cars, however, continue to roar. Doubling their sales volume to 17.266 in the first six months to 7,6% market share. On the other hand, there is a noticeable shift away from expensive electric cars.
Meanwhile, the national energy savings fund is introducing loans for apartment owners to install charging stations for their electric cars. At the moment, apartment blocks hardly have charging stations. Owners, therefore, often have to use public charging stations.
The evolution of the Dutch car market is mostly financially driven. The introduction of WLTP standards has meant a general rise in the theoretical CO2 output of cars. The CO2-based BPM or sales tax on new vehicles has therefore increased for most models.
This has a 10% negative impact on new car sales, with 226.482 registered, compared to 252.988 in the first half of 2018.
This increased cost is luring people into electric cars. But the government has lowered fiscal advantages for electric vehicles over 50.000 euros, which makes them less accessible. Electric vehicles that sell for less are fiscally more interesting for company car drivers.
Electric cars popular
Specialists expect 28.0000 electric cars will be sold in The Netherlands this year. The introduction of more affordable electric cars is helping sales. Moreover, the fiscal stimulus for cars under 50.000 euros are increasing their popularity.
With 6.063 units registered, the Tesla Model 3 is the best sold electric car in the Netherlands, as it is in the rest of Europe. Other strong sellers are the Hyundai Kona Electric (2.363 units) and the Kia e-Niro (1.789 units).
At the luxury end of the electric car market, sales are down. The combined figure for the Tesla Model S and X is 177 units, compared to 2.802 in the first half of 2018. The Jaguar I-Pace isn’t doing much better, with 111 cars registered.
More fiscal changes?
But car importer and distributor associations RAI and Bovag also see threats for the growth of electric car sales. Contrary to earlier promises, the government is now planning even further to lower the sales price limit for fiscal stimulants — 45.000 in 2020 and 40.000 in 2021. Also, the company car owners will probably pay an 8% annual tax instead of 4% now.
The Dutch government expects to raise tens of millions of euros. But representatives of the organizations underline the importance of predictable and stable government policy. They add that both the automotive sector and consumers don’t want to be surprised by intermediate changes in the rules of the game.