Electric payroll cars surge fivefold over a two-year period

Despite much political debate about governmental subsidising, Belgium has witnessed a major transformation in its employee salary car fleet. The number of electric payroll cars has grown fivefold from early 2022 to the end of 2023. This shift, reported by the National Office of Social Security (RSZ), may not be to the liking of public transport advocates, but it underscores the positive effects of greener transportation options for employees.

The fourth quarter of 2023 saw a remarkable shift, with over 80 percent of newly registered payroll cars equipped with an electrified powertrain. Hybrids represented 44.5 percent, while fully electric vehicles accounted for 37.3 percent. In stark contrast, combustion engine vehicles comprised only 18.2 percent of new registrations. This transition is steadily transforming the entire payroll vehicle fleet.

Diesel in reverse

Over a period of two years, hybrid vehicles have increased their share in the fleet from 15.1 percent to 27.9 percent. Fully electric cars saw an even more dramatic rise, surging from 2.54 percent to 12.2 percent. Meanwhile, diesel vehicles experienced a notable decline, dropping from 72 percent to 62 percent, with a slight increase in gasoline engine numbers.

The total number of payroll cars in Belgium reached 568,187 by the close of 2023, marking a 10 percent increase since 2022. Despite this growth, the dominance of conventional combustion engines diminished, now representing only 60 percent of the fleet, down from over 82 percent two years earlier.

Mobility budget is used for housing rent

This shift towards greener vehicles has positively impacted emissions, states the RSZ. Average emissions per vehicle decreased from 120 to 100 g/km, a reduction of over 16 percent. The total CO2 emissions for all payroll cars combined fell from 61.78 to 56.62 tons of CO2/km over the two-year period, even as the number of salary cars increased.

The RSZ also released figures on the mobility budget, which is one of Europe’s most elaborate multimodal employee schemes in Belgium. It was presented in a broader format in September last year by Minister of Finance Vincent van Peteghem (CD&V). But its success remains limited as a driver to more sustainable car options. Over 90 percent of employees prefer using their mobility budget for alternatives other than cars, with only 8 percent choosing eco-friendly vehicles. Most employees allocate their budget to sustainable transportation and housing costs or opt to cash out the remainder.


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