Flemish Minister for Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) would like to reintroduce a premium for electric or zero-emission cars. This premium is only part of the proposals the minister is putting on the table within the Flemish government during the discussion about the climate objectives.
In 2020, the Flemish government decided to scrap the premiums for electric cars. Still, the price difference between electric vehicles and cars with an internal combustion engine remains significant, even for smaller cars.
Other countries – France, Germany, and recently also the Netherlands – have already introduced incentives, and Minister Peeters clearly favors such a premium, especially for smaller vehicles. “Such a premium should encourage people to buy a zero-emission car instead of a car with a combustion engine,” Peeters explains. “I would also suggest reducing it linearly.”
‘Total Cost of Ownership’
Peeters also pleads for a similar premium for second-hand electric cars “because if our neighboring countries introduce such a premium, and Flanders doesn’t, the second-hand e-cars on our market risk to disappear to France, the Netherlands, and Germany”.
The question is whether the proposal has a chance within the Flemish government. Some political parties argue that – spread over time – the ‘total cost of ownership’ of an electric car is already lower than its polluting counterpart. Therefore, they say ‘using up’ a significant part of the mobility budget on premiums would be wasting money.
Minister Peeters regrets the criticism and reservation. However, she doesn’t understand why there could be premiums for making homes more energy efficient but not for transport. “If our neighboring countries take similar measures, then Flanders must do the same.”
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