Flemish EV-premium already exceeds €15 million mark

Since the ‘premium window for EVs’ in Flanders opened on 12 February, 3,073 premium applications have been made. Some 2,600 applications were made for new cars, 440 for second-hand cars, 100 for car-sharing, and 40 for vehicles for non-profit organizations. Multiplied by the premium amounts, this amounts to around 15 million euros.

Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) set aside 20 million euros for the initiative, but confirmed on Thursday in parliament that this amount could be increased.

Accordingly, the Flemish government had initially provided 20 million euros for this year for the premium, and it was also feared that the pot would be empty in one day. So that is not the case, but the 20 million mark may soon be exceeded anyway.

Earlier, the minister had said that another 6 million euros would be used from the climate funds if the amount initially envisaged was not enough. “And even if that would still not be enough, we will make up for it,” Peeters assured in the Flemish parliament on Thursday. “Then we will be a reliable government for everyone who orders a car until December 2024.”

Where to find the money?

However, Vooruit MP Els Robeyns strongly doubts that the minister will get by with 26 million euros. And she also wonders where else the funds are going to come from. The Flemish government already had to budge on the initiative because, contrary to what was announced earlier, the premium can only be applied for this year and not three years.

Stijn Bex of Groen remarked, “You say the premium should mainly serve to keep second-hand cars in Flanders, but now we see that barely 10% of the budget goes to second-hand.” He again called on the minister to stop the premium, except for car sharing.

Social leasing, like in France

Groen advocated a system of social leasing of EVs, following the example of France. The political party is thus aiming at the target group that needs a car to get around but for whom the purchase of an EV is not possible financially.

“We want everyone to be able to get around easily, including the worker who works in shift systems on an industrial estate and cannot get there by public transport,” says Groen co-chairperson Nadia Naji. “Instead of handing out premiums to people who can easily buy a car themselves, we are putting forward a proposal aimed at those who cannot do without a car and at the same time do not have the money to buy one themselves.”

How the measure should be financed is the subject of possible government negotiations as the elections approach. However, the party suggests that the proceeds from European emissions trading could provide a solution.

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