Flanders adds 27.500 cars to its fleet in one year
Despite climate awareness and traffic jams, there are more cars in Flanders than ever before. Last year, another 27.500 vehicles were added. Today almost 3,6 million cars are registered. These new cars are even more polluting because we buy larger cars fitted with gasoline engines.
Share of salary cars on the rise
New figures from Statistics Flanders show that there are 3.569.202 passenger cars in Flanders, 27.656 more than the year before (+0,8%). This means 545 passenger cars per 1.000 Flemish inhabitants or 1 per 1,84. In this fleet, we count 625.000 company cars. According to sector organization Febiac, half of these new cars are a salary car, and this share is growing.
“The environment is certainly not the first aspect that plays a role in mobility behavior,” says mobility professor Dirk Lauwers (UAntwerpen and UGent). “In Copenhagen, the cycling city of Europe, this is no different.
The choice of mobility is dictated by practical reasons: which is the most advantageous, which is the most convenient?” Lauwers states. “For some, public transport is simply not an alternative: too many transfers, too many delays, or too many missed connections,” Ludo Kluppels, traffic psychologist (VIAS Institute) adds.
Policy encourages more cars
This is because a company car is part of the remuneration package, which is much more affordable than financing the same car privately. “The increase shows that the current policy does not discourage car traffic,” Lauwers says. “Certainly now that the tax per kilometer has also been swept off the table. In Flanders, only Leuven and Ghent have a slightly stricter parking policy for residents. In Ghent, for example, a residents’ card for a second car at the same address costs 250 euro a year.”
7% more CO2 emissions
Since 2017, and especially after the dieselgate scandal, motorists have been buying fewer diesel cars (37% diesel and 57% gasoline in 2018, according to Febiac). That’s why CO2 emissions are increasing by 7% in barely two years because gasoline engines consume more fuel compared to diesel engines. Also, 37,5% of newly sold vehicles today have an SUV or crossover bodywork. The combination of poor aerodynamics, extra weight, and more rolling resistance (larger tires) make this type of vehicle anything but green.