Touring urges Brussels to ‘ease’ LEZ exclusion of 850,000 vehicles

Mobility organization Touring is calling for a moratorium on the Euro 5 ban in Brussels from January 2025. Tightening the allowable emissions standard in the Brussels Region would exclude 850,000 vehicles, including 700,000 passenger cars and 150,000 vans.

Touring says a moratorium would encourage a smoother transition to EVs, pending a more diverse and affordable supply. Brussels Climate Minister Alain Maron (Ecolo) sticks to the 2018 agenda.

Major impact

Like some other Belgian (Antwerp, Ghent) and European cities, Brussels has introduced the LEZ, a gradually tightening measure to improve air quality and public health. Within that phase-out, vehicles that meet the Euro 5 standard for diesel and Euro 2 for gasoline will be excluded from Brussels from 2025, a timetable set since 2018.

However, Touring says the hasty exclusion of Euro 5 vehicles will cause significant economic losses for everyone involved. “In the context of an already fragile Brussels economy, banning more than 850,000 vehicles in the capital is not a viable solution,” Touring stresses. “This change will significantly impact Brussels residents, rendering a quarter of the city’s diesel cars immediately unusable.”

Furthermore, the forced replacement of still-functional vehicles promotes premature obsolescence despite their low emissions thanks to particulate filters.

Therefore, according to the mobility organization, a moratorium would promote a smoother transition to EVs, pending a more diverse and affordable supply. Moreover, the transition requires an adequate charging infrastructure for EVs, one “that is currently insufficient”, Touring says.

Wrong signal

Commenting to the press agency Belga, Minister Maron pointed out that air pollution is responsible for more than 7,000 premature deaths in Belgium, especially among the most vulnerable. “In Brussels, the Curieuzenair project has shown that air pollution is also the source of great inequalities: the least well-off suffer the most from this pollution,” the Minister says.

Recalling that the timetable for the Brussels LEZ has already been fixed since 2018, Maron stressed the importance of providing long-term predictability for the business and households concerned. “Delay would send the wrong signal to citizens and companies that have already made the necessary investments to adapt,” he says.

Finally, Maron points out that the Brussels government recently decided to intensify the support it offers to individuals and companies affected by the LEZ (Bruxell’Air bonus, LEZ bonus, mobility coach, etc.) to “guarantee a fair transition”.

Some more interesting facts and figures

By 2025, 9,500 charging points for EVs will be needed in the Brussels Region, and the counter today stands at 5,238. However, the Region plans 600 additional charging stations this year, accounting for 1,200 new charging points.

In 2022, only 45% of households in the Brussels Capital Region owned a car. And since the Brussels Capital Region introduced a low-emission zone (LEZ) in 2018, there has been a 30% reduction in nitrogen dioxide along Brussels’ main roads.

Last year, the Brussels region fined a record number of motorists who entered the Brussels LEZ with a car that was too polluting. Almost 30,000 drivers – 29,643 to be precise – were fined, an increase of nearly 60% compared to 2022.

The city of Antwerp adjusted its LEZ regulations last year and postponed the next tightening of the diesel Euro 5 standard and gasoline-driven cars with Euro 2 from 2025 to 2026.


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