Paul Magnette: ‘company cars will have to be electric’
Federal informer Paul Magnette (PS) has a drastic change in the company car policy in its proposals to other parties. When he talks about sustainable development, one of the eight chapters concerns company cars.
Companies in Belgium can lease cars for their personnel in very interesting conditions. They can deduct the cost up to 100% for the greenest cars. The 120% for pure electric cars will be abolished as of the 1st of January, 2020. That’s why there are 660.000 company cars or so-called ‘salary cars’ in Belgium.
In his plans, Magnette wants this deduction only for pure electric cars. The deduction for other cars will be reduced systematically in the coming years. From 2023 onward, leasing costs are only deductible for cars that emit no CO2 at all. Only electric cars fulfill this requirement.
This policy should give an important boost to the sales of electric vehicles, which has been very slow until now. It has doubled this year, but at 7.306 pure electric vehicles in 10 months is still very limited.
At the same time, Magnette also stresses other possibilities, like the mobility budget or alternative means of transport.
“If this switch to pure electric cars is too quick and radical, it will hurt a lot.” That’s what Frank Van Gool says, CEO of the leasing car federation Renta. “I have absolutely nothing against green company cars,” adds Van Gool, “but a radical switch would hurt too much.”
The paradox is that the cars that are still green but still emit a small amount of CO2 and other exhaust gases would be the biggest victim. Cars like PHEVs, other hybrids, and cars running on gas wouldn’t be fiscally interesting anymore. As they are more expensive than petrol or diesel cars, they wouldn’t sell anymore.
Growing electric market
Most analysts expect the part of electric cars to grow drastically in the coming years. More models are coming, they have larger ranges, and the cars are becoming less expensive. But the problem for the sector is the short term for a change.
“2023 is tomorrow in the leasing sector,” comments Van Gool. “If the authorities want to go through with this plan, they will have to provide the necessary infrastructure. I’m not only thinking of enough charging points, but also our energy production and distribution.”