EU carmakers least of all happy with tax wall against Chinese EV imports (update)

June 14, 2024

The EU Commission revealed on Wednesday the rate of the ‘intended’ extra taxes on imported Chinese EVs, ranging from 17.4 to 38.1% on top of the existing 10% import duties on all cars today. China, meanwhile, accuses the EU of intended protectionism and warns “not to go the wrong way.” It threatens to open a […]

MR and Groen diagonally opposed about reversing Brussels Good Move plan

June 13, 2024

With the stalemate between the liberal MR party and Groen, the two big winners in the French and Dutch language groups in Brussels of the national elections, it looks like the Good Move mobility plan will become the topic of the municipal elections in October. MR president Georges-Louis Bouchez is determined that Good Move must […]

‘Ghent factory won’t build the Volvo EX90’

June 11, 2024

According to The Times, Volvo is investigating plans to shift some of its manufacturing output from China to Ghent in response to the upcoming new import tariffs from the EU. The ramp-up to build units of the EX30 in Belgium would be accelerated, while reportedly, the EX90 is also named for a production move. The […]

One-third bicycle accidents due to failure to apply right of way rules correctly

June 10, 2024

According to a new study by Vias Institute, failure to correctly give the right of way is involved in one in three serious cycling accidents in Flanders. Responsibility for the accident lies as often with the cyclist as with the other road user. And two-thirds of accidents are largely due to human error. Still, according […]

New York governor torpedoes Manhattan congestion charge

June 07, 2024

The Manhattan congestion charge, planned for activation in late June this year, has been axed. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul announced the “indefinite suspension” of the controversial charge, which was modeled after similar low-emission zones in London, Stockholm, and Singapore. “I’ve made a tough decision: implementing the traffic tax puts too much at risk […]

New Belgian road code is now official

June 05, 2024

The current Belgian road code, which is some half a century old, will be modernized from 1 September 2026. This news was already known, but with the king signing the text yesterday, the new traffic rules are now officially in place. The new modern code gives everyone a fairer place on public roads – read: […]

Testing fraud found at four Japanese automakers

June 04, 2024

Sales of certain Japanese models, like the Mazda MX-5 RF and Toyota Yaris Cross, have been halted. Four Japanese automakers have been found liable for manipulating testing data. Toyota, Mazda, Suzuki, and Honda say they will do anything to comply and restore customer confidence. The new fraud scandal follows in the slipstream of the earlier […]

Electric payroll cars surge fivefold over a two-year period

May 29, 2024

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 […]

Engie asks half billion extra for nuclear extension

May 28, 2024

Engie Electrabel is demanding 500 to 600 million euros in compensation from the Belgian government as the lifetime extension of two nuclear power plants disrupts the previously planned decommissioning plan. So, reports business newspaper De Tijd, which consulted the annexes to Electrabel’s annual accounts published last week. The government does not agree and has requested […]

City of Brussels wants measures against exhaust pipe terror

May 28, 2024

The Brussels city council wants the Brussels Region to take measures against noise from amplified engines and exhaust pipes in the capital’s streets. To this end, the city council approved a resolution by Councilor Mathias Vanden Borre (N-VA) on the issue. According to the World Health Organization, noise is the second biggest environmental cause of […]

Flanders demands daily penalty payments over Brussels Airport flight paths

May 27, 2024

The Flemish government will start new proceedings before the Court of Appeal to demand penalty payments of 100,000 euros per day if the federal government does not adjust the flight routes over the Flemish periphery again. Flemish Periphery Minister Ben Weyts (N-VA) announced this in a press release. Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) called […]

Number of fare dodgers at De Lijn increases by +70%

May 24, 2024

Despite more checks, the number of fare dodgers at Flemish public transport company De Lijn has increased by more than 70% in five years. Moreover, De Lijn is losing a lot of money because half do not pay their fines. Last year, for example, 4,1 million euros out of a total of 8,2 million euros […]

‘Netherlands back to 130 km/h nullifies effect of half a million EVs’

May 22, 2024

The Netherlands is going to reverse the maximum speed limit on highways during the day from 100 to 130 km/hour, the new government coalition with the PVV party of Geert Wilders, NSC, BBB, and the VVD party of ex-premier Mark Rutte vowed. But this will nullify in one blow the gain in emission reduction of […]

London donates 110 ‘scrap’ ULEZ vehicles for Ukrainian aid

May 21, 2024

Over 100 vehicles have been donated to Ukraine through London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) scrappage program. Twenty of those vehicles have already arrived in the war-torn country this weekend, and another thirteen are en route. Transportation is vital for saving lives during the war. Once Londoners are accepted to the Ulez scrappage scheme and donate […]

Brussels Airlines challenges Brussels Airport’s new permit

May 21, 2024

Brussels Airlines is going to the Council for Permit Disputes against the new environmental permit for Brussels Airport. According to the airline, European rules were not respected. Thirteen environmental organizations and residents’ associations are also taking the same step, following the lead of the Walloon government and Brussels Environment Minister Alain Maron (Ecolo). They say […]

EU’s tougher emission standards for trucks and buses written in stone

May 14, 2024

By 2030, trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles in Europe must reduce their CO2 emissions by 45% from 2019 levels. That threshold will then be raised to 65% by 2035 and 90% by 2040 – the average lifespan of a truck is 18 years, that’s why. The European Parliament had previously approved these new emission standards, […]

Average delay in Wallonia for technical car inspection is 58 days

May 13, 2024

Last year, almost 1.2 million cars were presented for technical inspection in Wallonia. According to statistics from the Public Service of Wallonia, Mobility, and Infrastructure, 20% of them came later than the expiry date of the inspection certificate. On average, Walloons were 58 days late; in 2019, for example, it was 55 days. Different problems […]

MediaMarkt sells ‘street-illegal’ e-scooter with 70 km/h topspeed

May 09, 2024

Electronics chain MediaMarkt, which opened its first European ‘Urban Mobility Store’ in Antwerp on Tuesday, is selling a racing e-scooter that reaches 70 km/h. Such devices are not allowed on public roads in Belgium, where the maximum speed is 25 km/h. However, the electric chain claims that such a device is “ideal for commuting,” says […]

Vinci: ‘aggressive behavior, insults, and stress prevail among EU drivers’

May 08, 2024

Despite prevention campaigns and an apparent increase in the number of people killed on the road in 2024, aggressive behavior, insults, and stress still prevail among European drivers. These are the conclusions of the 14th ‘Barometre de la Conduite Responsable’, a study by market research company Ipsos, published on Tuesday by the French foundation Vinci […]

High Health Council wants ban on night flights at Brussels Airport

May 08, 2024

The Belgian High Health Council is calling for a ban on night flights at Brussels Airport. This is the advisory body’s first recommendation of such a measure. According to the Council, at least 160,000 people living nearby are at increased risk of negative health effects, such as disturbed sleep, reduced lung function, and changes in […]

Flanders’ nest egg for EV premiums already exhausted in five months

May 08, 2024

The Flemish region is the only one in Belgium to grant a premium of up to 5,000 euros for private persons purchasing a new electric vehicle with a list price under €40,000. Second-hand EVs are awarded a premium of up to €3,000. But five months after installation, the €20 million of Flanders’ nest egg for […]

Liège Airport gets new environmental permit

May 02, 2024

The Walloon government has granted Liège Airport a new environmental permit. The Council of State initially threatened to annul that. Still, strengthening the permit’s legal basis, including the limit of 55,000 authorized flights per year, remedied that shortcoming. At the end of February, the auditor at the State Council ordered the annulment of the license […]

From next year, Flemish teachers can lease a bicycle cheaply

May 02, 2024

From next year, teachers will be able to use part of their gross end-of-year bonus to lease a regular or electric bicycle. According to Flemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts (N-VA), the option is part of a series of measures to make remuneration for the teaching job more up-to-date and attractive. Among them are a […]

14% of CARA fit-to-drive tests resulted in final ban in 2023

April 29, 2024

Last year, 5,317 Flemish people took a fit-to-drive test at the CARA center. Almost fourteen percent of them received negative driving advice, meaning that even with car adjustments or driver license restrictions, they could no longer participate safely in traffic. CARA, a subdivision of the traffic institute Vias, is the Test Center for Fitness to […]

Brussels restriction on shared e-scooters suspended

April 26, 2024

The Council of State is blowing the Brussels government the whistle over its decision to limit the number of shared e-scooters, according to newspapers La Libre Belgique and La Dernière Heure. Brussels Mobility Minister Elke Van den Brandt (Groen) reacted with disappointment but was delighted that the Council did uphold the drop zones and fines […]

Dieselgate: Continenal fined for 100 million euros

April 26, 2024

Automotive supplier Continental has agreed to a 100 million euro fine imposed by prosecutors for its involvement in the notorious dieselgate emissions scandal. The fine was due to a “negligent breach of supervisory duties”, meaning the company undertook too little to inspect responsibility and managers for the supply of engine control units and related software […]

Belgian driver with €6.2 million in outstanding fines stopped (update)

April 26, 2024

On Wednesday, during an extensive joint police and customs control in South Limburg, a motorist was intercepted with outstanding fines totaling at least 6,238,607 euros. The man – an 81-year-old Limburg advertiser – could not pay the amount, causing the police to confiscate his vehicle. Jean-Paul N. was sentenced to four years in prison in […]

Accidents involving e-bikes almost as bad as those involving motorcyclists

April 24, 2024

E-bikes are popular among the elderly, and the number of Belgians buying them is rising. Still, you better use a helmet when you get on your e-bike. According to a recent study from Zurich, the injuries you can suffer in a fall or accident are even more comparable to those of motorcyclists rather than conventional […]

Flanders: vehicle tax reform lead to limited drop in CO2 emissions

April 23, 2024

According to a study by the Federal Planning Office, the 2012 reform of the Flemish vehicle registration tax (BIV) led to a faster but small decrease in CO2 emissions from new passenger cars in Flanders. The additional impact of the Flemish reform of the annual circulation tax in 2016 and the premium for emission-free cars, […]

T&E: ‘Airlines barely pay for their CO2 emissions in Europe’

April 22, 2024

Low-cost airlines pollute more than ever, the NGO Transport & Environment (T&E) denounces in a new report. All passenger flights taking off in Europe last year emitted as much CO2 as 80 million petrol cars in one year. However, airlines, according to the NGO fighting for more environmentally friendly transport, had to pay for less […]

German court might force Volkswagen to drop ID. badge

April 19, 2024

The claims over unjustified name use on car models come in waves. The latest in the line is Volkswagen, which faces a court case from a former supplier over its ID badge. Identytec, a logistics hardware and software provider, is appealing to the court. For over 15 years, the company has used the abbreviation of […]

Most drivers adjust driving behavior after speeding fine

April 19, 2024

In 2023, 30% of Belgians received a traffic fine, the vast majority for a speeding offense. A survey conducted by Traffic Safety Institute Vias now shows that two out of three drivers do adjust their driving behavior after receiving a speeding ticket. The Federal Highway Police and local police are also organizing the twentieth-speed camera […]

Ecolo continues to push for 100 kph on motorways

April 15, 2024

Ecolo, the French-speaking Green party in Belgium, remains behind its choice for 100 kph on motorways in Belgium. At the Flemish Green Party, the proposal is no longer to be found in the 2024 election program. Coalition partner Ecolo does want to go full steam ahead with it, writes the newspaper La Dernière Heure, but […]

Bike more popular than car in inner Paris

April 12, 2024

In Paris, the bicycle has overtaken the car as a means of transport and is now behind walking and public transport. According to a survey by the Paris Region Institute (IPR), conducted at the request of some 15 public and private institutions, Parisians use bicycles more, chosen for 11,2% of intramural trips, than cars, with […]

Stricter EU CO2 standards for buses and trucks

April 12, 2024

The European Parliament has approved stricter CO2 standards for buses and trucks. This includes the requirement that all new buses should be emission-free by 2035 and almost all new trucks by 2040. The European Council still must give the green light, but this is considered a formality. A complete ban on combustion engines for lorries […]

As from now EU charging points must display prices and allow bank cards

April 12, 2024

Charging stations installed as of tomorrow must be in rule with Europe’s latest standards. Just like conventional fuel forecourts, they will display real-time prices and allow payment through bank cards. The regulations take effect as Europe has finalized its fifth funding round for AFIR (Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulations), largely expanding the continent’s charging infrastructure. The […]

Deal on US subsidies for European EVs stranded (again)

April 12, 2024

Officials failed to reach on agreement on EV subsidies for cars exported from the EU to the US. The recent negotiations were considered a last chance before presidential elections might turn the tables. However, negotiations will continue. The EU and the US have held talks for some time to reach a bilateral agreement over EV […]

Record number of traffic fines for De Lijn, accounting for over €173 000

April 10, 2024

The business newspaper De Tijd reports that drivers of the Flemish public transport company De Lijn received a record number and amount of traffic fines last year. Altogether, 2,531 traffic violations were recorded, accounting for a fine amount of over 173,000 euros. Compared with 2022, the previous record year, the number of offenses recorded is […]

NMBS/SNCB: Trains more punctual, and better refund for 100 000 commuters

April 09, 2024

For the first time since August, more than nine out of ten NMBS/SNCB trains ran on time in March, i.e., with less than 6 minutes delay upon arrival in Brussels or at the ultimate destination. According to the NMBS/SNCB, these are “the best punctuality figures since the full resumption of rail traffic after the COVID-19 […]

Brussels LEZ tightening under discussion again

April 05, 2024

The French-speaking Brussels socialist party PS wants the ban on diesel vehicles with emission class Euro 5, which will apply from January 2025, to be postponed for two years. The socio-liberal DéFI also wants a review of the low-emission zone (LEZ) rules. Energia, the former Belgian Petroleum Federation, in turn, wants the rules around the […]

New Jersey takes lead in ‘punishing’ EVs with $250 road tax

April 05, 2024

New Jersey, the US’s ‘Garden State’, is imposing the highest road tax on electric vehicles nationwide, requiring a $250 fee yearly, increasing by $10 each year to top off at $290 in 2028. The money is used for the state’s Transportation Trust Fund to maintain roads, railways, and bridges. While EVs worldwide are mostly exempted […]

Flanders offers €3 million for e-truck chargers and ‘innovative solutons’

April 04, 2024

Flemish minister for Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) has launched a new project call to improve the charging infrastructure for heavy electric commercial vehicles. Not only chargers but also innovative solutions like battery swap stations are eligible for the €3 million subsidy allocation. This isn’t the first time the Flemish government has offered to subsidize […]

Norwegian electric fleet set to surpass gasoline this year

April 04, 2024

The fuel mix of Norway’s national fleet is nearing a watershed moment. The share of electric cars is poised to eclipse gasoline cars by the end of the year. As a result, fossil fuel sales are also declining. Battery electric vehicles (BEVs) are on the verge of outnumbering petrol cars in Norway, signaling a potentially […]

Opposing reactions to new permit for Brussels Airport

April 02, 2024

The granting of Brussels Airport Company’s new environmental permit is provoking opposed reactions. According to the citizen forum Burgerforum Luchthavenregio, the Flemish government has let down the residents of the surrounding municipalities around the airport. The Federal Ombudsman also feels that health and pollution have not been sufficiently considered. The Flemish liberal political party Open […]

Shutting down 2G network will make eCall useless in 36 million cars

March 29, 2024

Carmakers face a million-euro debacle as telecom operators plan to shut down the 2G network, enabling the compulsory safety system eCall. Considered outdated and inefficient, replacing 2G might trigger a recall for over 36 million cars. Who will pay for the upgrade? In Europe, mobile operators are gearing up to shut down their 2G networks, […]

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

March 26, 2024

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 […]

Flemish EV premium: Citroën and Tesla most popular brands

March 25, 2024

Citroën, Tesla, and Volvo are the top three in the applications for a Flemish premium for an electric car. So, reports Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters (Open VLD). Meanwhile, there are already 2,006 completed applications, and almost half of the premiums have already been distributed. A total of 2,006 completed applications have now been received. These […]

Renault CEO Luca de Meo writes a ‘Letter to Europe’

March 20, 2024

Renault Group CEO (and current ACEA President) Luca de Meo has addressed a ‘Letter to Europe‘ to “all key decision-makers and stakeholders across Europe”. It’s an “Advocacy for a sustainable, inclusive, and competitive automotive industry.” With just a few months to go before the European elections, this twenty-page document calls for European mobilization “to succeed […]

Brussels Airport’s impact: 64,000 jobs and €5.4 billion added value

March 19, 2024

Brussels Airport accounts for 5.41 billion in added value and more than 64,000 jobs. According to a study on the economic impact commissioned by Zaventem Airport, the Universities UAntwerpen and UCLouvain presented these results on Monday. Meanwhile, management and unions at Brussels Airlines also reached an agreement on Monday regarding better pay for cabin crew. […]

European Parliament votes for heavier trucks across borders

March 18, 2024

The European Parliament voted last week for the revision of the European Weights and Dimensions Directive, which would allow 44-ton combinations to cross the borders of member states more easily. This would increase efficiency and lower emissions per cargo unit, but it might also give diesel trucks a more significant advantage. The door has also […]

Belgian organic farmer sues TotalEnergies over climate change

March 14, 2024

Belgian organic farmer Hugues Falys is taking TotalEnergies to court over the French oil company’s role in climate change. This is the first climate case against a multinational in Belgium. Several human rights and environmental organizations support the case, including Greenpeace and the International Federation for Human Rights. “The climate crisis has a huge impact […]

Wallonia axes Low Emission Zone plans due in 2025

March 14, 2024

Walloon Environment Minister, Céline Tellier (Ecolo), has declared that the plan for Wallonia to become a Low Emission Zone (LEZ) was “disproportionate, difficult to apply and not very effective.” The Walloon LEZ is now axed, but major cities will be able to introduce restrictions to enhance air quality, not only on vehicles. Introduced in 2019, […]

Vias: ‘7% fewer road deaths in Belgium in 2023’

March 13, 2024

According to Vias’ latest traffic safety barometer, based on figures from the federal police, there were 7% fewer road deaths last year than in 2022. Last year, 483 people died in traffic, compared to 520 in 2022. The Vias Institute is a Belgian knowledge center that aims to improve road safety, mobility, and social safety. […]

Vias: ‘Statistically proven: men drive less safely than women’

March 08, 2024

People often say that women are lousy drivers, but statistics show just the opposite: almost eight in ten road deaths are men. Women are less likely to be involved in serious accidents than men and are generally also less likely to be severely injured in accidents (40% compared to 60% of men). However, it is […]

EU prepares ‘possible retroactive tariffs’ on Chinese EV imports

March 06, 2024

According to a document published on Tuesday and cited by the Reuters news agency, the EU Commission says it has sufficient evidence ‘tending’ to show Chinese EVs were being subsidized, and it will start ‘customs registrations’ on Thursday to prepare for possible retroactive tariffs. That means that import tariffs could be imposed retrospectively if the […]

EU agrees on heavier 4.25 ton e-vans with regular B license

March 01, 2024

The European Parliament has agreed on a new set of regulations concerning driver’s licenses. One of the plans is to increase the weight limit of electric light commercial vehicles to 4.25 tons to compensate for the loss of payload due to heavy battery packs. But new exam rules, digital licenses, and stricter rules for young […]

EU Parliament rejects limited driver’s license validity period

February 29, 2024

The European Parliament rejects limiting the validity period of driving licenses for older drivers. Earlier, European Mobility Ministers also agreed that there would be no specific validity restriction on driving licenses for the over-70s. The legislation, which also introduces a digital driving license on smartphones, has yet to be negotiated with members; it emerged on […]

Flanders fines record of 19 million euros for non-paid truck km tax

February 29, 2024

Last year, Flanders issued 19 million euros of fines for truck drivers who did not comply with the rules on kilometer tax. That is a record since the system was introduced in 2016. Most of the fines – almost 80 percent – ​​were intended for foreign trucks. The Netherlands, Poland, and Spain, in particular, took […]

Italy looking to lure other carmakers besides Stellantis (update)

February 29, 2024

The Italian government has approached the booming Chinese car manufacturer BYD to build a car plant in the country and confirmed having contact with Tesla and other carmakers. The Meloni government wants to halt the monopoly of Stellantis in that field and has contacted several other manufacturers to come and produce in Italy. “Several carmakers […]

Microlino Lite premiere: 45 km per hour and from age 16

February 26, 2024

At the Geneva Motor Show, Swiss-Italian electric micro-carmaker Microlino unveiled the ‘Lite’ or L6e version of the Microlina L7e, which is the fully electric lightweight quadricycle. This one has a limited maximum speed of 45 km/hour, half of its older brother, with a basic range of approximately 100 km that can be extended up to […]