Shell opens first ‘all-electric fuel station’ in heart of Brussels

July 26, 2023

In Etterbeek, near the Shuman traffic circle, the first all-electric fuel station on Brussels territory has opened. Shell’s public charging station has both fast chargers (DC) and regular chargers (AC). It is a break in trend for Brussels, as with the announced era of the electric car and the reduced support for fossil energy exploitation […]

Germany increases budget for environmental bonus

July 24, 2023

The German Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (Bundesministerium für Wirtschaft und Klimatschutz, or BMWK in German) will increase the budget for the environmental bonus this year. It had initially earmarked €2,1 billion for this purpose in 2023. That will now be increased to at least €2,5 billion. The information comes from a report […]

Flanders slacks off ban in LEZs Ghent and Antwerp

July 19, 2023

The Flemish government decided to slack off the future ban on Euro 2 gasoline cars and Euro 5 diesel cars in the Low-Emission Zones of Antwerp and Gent, the sole cities in Flanders that actually have a LEZ besides Brussels. Initially due to be effective from January 1st, 2025, the ban will be postponed by […]

Brussels Airlines files complaint against ‘illegal state aid’ Charleroi Airport

July 18, 2023

Belgian airline company Brussels Airlines has filed an official complaint with the European Commission against the “illegal state aid” it claims Charleroi Airport receives. The complaint relates to the terminal navigation charge, which the Belgian air traffic controller Skeyes receives per plane taking off at Brussels Airport. Airlines have to pay part of that amount […]

Flanders allows certified workshops re-examination of rejected car

July 18, 2023

The Flemish government has approved the reinspection of cars by certified garage owners in principle. Flemish Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) launched the idea because the official inspection centers cannot tackle the bottlenecks, and there is a need for additional capacity. “The technical inspection remains important from a road safety point of view, but […]

T&E: ‘Smaller cars can reduce demand for critical metals’

July 18, 2023

Cutting battery sizes, improving chemistries, and reducing private car journeys can cut the expected consumption of critical materials in BEVs by 36-49% by 2050, says the NGO Transport & Environment based on a new analysis of a study ordered and conducted by the green group. Demand for battery raw materials in Europe will increase rapidly […]

Gilkinet’s plan to ban night flights at Brussels Airport causes turbulence

July 17, 2023

Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) wants a total ban on night flights from 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. for Zaventem airport. As expected, many political parties, concerned companies, and interest groups reacted sharply and negatively to Gilkinet’s striking proposal to do away with the 16 000-night flights that currently take off from Brussels Airport. […]

Flanders launches safety campaign for 30 km/h speed limit on towpaths

July 17, 2023

Last Sunday, Flemish Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) kicked off a new courtesy and safety campaign for users of the many towpaths in Flanders. The campaign calls for courtesy, safe behavior, and respect for the maximum speed of 30 kilometers per hour on the more than 2 000 towpaths and dyke roads. Speed pedelecs, […]

Brussels limits current 20.000 e-scooters to 8.000

July 14, 2023

Shared e-scooters will henceforth be welcome in Brussels only if they do not impede other traffic users. The Brussels government has, therefore, approved the decision that tightens the rules for users and operators of e-scooters and other shared vehicles in the micro-mobility category. The decision will come into force this summer, but the changeover to […]

Brussels to follow Paris in punishing ‘obese cars’?

July 14, 2023

More European cities are fighting against heavy ‘obese cars’ like pickup trucks and sports utility vehicles (SUVs). Paris, among others, is moving ahead with a plan to make overweight cars pay more parking fees. Other cities are also growing exasperated by the impact of SUVs. Amsterdam and Brussels, among others, are examining measures to discourage […]

EU Commission wants to stop exports of scrap cars

July 14, 2023

In a proposal announced on Thursday, the European Commission said it wants to ban scrap cars that are not roadworthy from being sold to countries outside the European Union. The Commission said the prohibition is part of plans to reduce carbon emissions, create more jobs, and improve access to raw materials like steel and aluminum […]

No consensus on noise pollution reduction around Brussels Airport

July 12, 2023

The discussions within the consultation platform on Zaventem airport did not lead to a consensus. This is according to the final report of the platform, which included representation from residents, municipalities, Brussels Airport, trade unions, and governments. Meanwhile, the bill the Belgian government must pay victims of noise pollution for overflying aircraft is running into […]

Body cams to prevent aggression against public transport staff

July 12, 2023

Ministers of the federal and Flemish governments have launched the ‘Stop Aggression’ action plan to tackle the problem of aggression on public transport in Belgium. The 10-point list includes a bus ban for troublemakers, while the demand for controller body cams will be examined. Public railway company NMBS/SNCB received 1 900 reports of aggression against […]

Brussels: 20% of checked transport vehicles in violation

July 10, 2023

Brussels Mobility regularly checks Brussels goods and passenger transport to increase the safety of all road users. The overview of checks carried out over the past three months shows that 20% were in violation. In the past three months, Brussels Mobility carried out 12 control actions in cooperation with various police zones. A total of […]

Belgium’s first hydrogen pipeline law is a fact

July 07, 2023

Belgium’s ambition to lead in developing a hydrogen grid was proved once again last Thursday: the plenary of the House of Representatives approved the first hydrogen law to regulate the transport of green hydrogen via pipelines. It may be the first such law worldwide, according to the cabinet of Energy Minister Tinne Van der Straeten […]

No Belgian support for limiting validity of driver’s licenses for over-70

July 07, 2023

The European Commission wants to limit the validity of driver’s licenses for people over 70 to five years. After that time, people would be required to undergo a medical examination or take a refresher course. Okra, the association for the elderly, is highly offended by the proposal and calls it “age discrimination”. And also, the […]

AWSR: One Walloon motorist in two admits drinking when driving

July 06, 2023

A survey by the Walloon Road Safety Agency (AWSR) shows that one Walloon driver in two drinks alcohol even if he has to drive afterward. One in four respondents recently drove potentially above the legal alcohol limit of 0,5 grams per liter of blood. To do something about the problem, the ASWR will be distributing […]

Dieselgate: former Audi CEO Stadler appeals (update)

July 05, 2023

Former Audi boss Rupert Stadler got off with a suspended prison sentence and a fine after his involvement in the so-called ‘Dieselgate’ scandal. The Munich Regional Court had sentenced Stadler to 21 months of suspended imprisonment and a fine of €1,1 million. Stadler has now appealed against the sentence, just like its two fellow convicted […]

NEO: permit issued for link road to Brussels Heysel

June 28, 2023

The Flemish administration has issued a permit for a link road between the Brussels Ring Road and Parking C at Heysel, according to the business newspaper L’Echo. The link road is considered essential for NEO, the Heysel redevelopment project. However, according to the Flemish Environment Department, the link road has a purely logistical function and […]

German Federal Court considers another diesel software system as fraud

June 27, 2023

Apart from dieselgate, there was another conflict of interest between consumers and manufacturers of diesel cars, the so-called ‘thermal window’ software. For the first time, the German Federal Court (Bundesgerichtshof or BGH) has considered that customers, having bought a car with the device, can claim compensation. The software permits controlling the air pollution equipment on […]

Antwerp no longer convinced about tightening LEZ

June 26, 2023

The Antwerp city council doubts the further tightening of the low-emission zone (LEZ) from 2028 onward. So write the Gazet van Antwerpen and Het Laatste Nieuws. A study on the impact of existing and future air quality measures should provide the answer. In Antwerp, diesel cars will normally no longer be allowed from 2031. From […]

Consumer organizations denounce greenwashing by 17 airlines

June 22, 2023

More than 20 European consumer organizations have filed a complaint to stop what they call misleading greenwashing claims by a series of airlines. The complaint is filed with the European Commission and the Consumer Protection Cooperation Network (CPC). It is directed against 17 airlines, including those in the Lufthansa Group (among which Brussels Airlines), Air […]

China extends electrified cars’ incentive to reboot sales

June 22, 2023

As the Chinese economy shows signs of slowing down, the government has extended the tax exemption for hybrids and electric cars to 2027. Buyers of these so-called new energy vehicles (NEV) skip the purchase tax. Since 2014, the Chinese government doesn’t impose a ten percent purchase tax on electrified cars to support their adoption and […]

France to allow 17-year-olds to drive a car alone

June 21, 2023

From next year, French people will be allowed to get their driving license and drive alone from the age of 17. French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne has reported this. Several traffic associations have already spoken out against a reduction because of the risk of accidents. Driving a car as a 17-year-old in France is now […]

ACEA wants EU to delay more stringent ‘rules of origin’ for EVs

June 21, 2023

The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) calls for a three-year postponement to restrictive rules on EU-UK electric vehicle trade, set to come into force in six months. Otherwise, tariffs could total € 4,3 billion, potentially reducing electric vehicle production by some 480 000 units, according to ACEA. Goods exported under EU free-trade agreements must comply […]

Belgium to tighten up fines for cars overtaking in bike zone

June 19, 2023

Municipal, provincial, and regional officials in Belgium will soon be allowed to fine motorists alongside the police if they overtake a cyclist in a bicycle zone. The council of ministers has decided this. A car driver who overtakes cyclists there risks a municipal administrative sanction, known as a GAS fine for short, of 58 euros. […]

Nine more French cities now have permanent low-emission zones

June 15, 2023

Anyone traveling to France by car this summer will face new, permanent low-emission zones (LEZ) in nine major French cities. This is what the Belgian mobility organization VAB is warning for. Paris has had a LEZ in place for some time, but it, too, is being tightened up. The so-called ‘zones à faibles emissions,’ or […]

PS and MR continue to obstruct Belgian driving license with points

June 14, 2023

The driving license with points does not seem to be introduced in Belgium, for the time being. The French-speaking socialists (PS) and liberals (MR) are not enthusiastic and have made their own counterproposal, much to the dismay of Vooruit, the party of the Flemish socialists. “People are dying on the roads because PS and MR […]

Walloon government to recover road taxes on ‘Flemish’ leased cars

June 13, 2023

Walloon public offices, municipalities, and provinces should now be legally required to pay their leased vehicles’ registration tax in Wallonia. This is part of an ongoing fight from the Walloon government to bring back losses from leased vehicles registered in Flanders. Wallonia is pushing back. Finance Minister Andrien Dolimont (MR) is taking legal action to […]

800 000 fewer trucks, but record of €838 million of km tax revenue

June 09, 2023

According to Viapass’ latest annual report, the number of trucks on Belgian toll roads has decreased by 800 000 in one year, from 41,10 million vehicles to 40,28. Viapass is the governmental organization that monitors the kilometer tax for trucks in Belgium. The decrease has economic reasons: the high energy prices reduced people’s purchasing power, […]

‘Used motorbike market collapsed due to mandatory technical inspection’

June 08, 2023

The second-hand motorbike market in Belgium is in dire straits, according to sector organization Traxio. Until May, almost 30% fewer motorbikes, that’s 9 446 units, were sold compared to last year. The reason for this drop, according to Traxio, is the second-hand inspection of motorbikes that has been mandatory since 1 January 2023. One of […]

7% of Belgian drivers already had accident due to ‘drunk’ driving

June 05, 2023

A European survey shows that 7% of Belgians, or around 420 000 drivers, have already had an accident attributable to alcohol behind the wheel. Last year, nearly 47 000 drivers, an average of 128 per day, were also fined for ‘alcohol behind the wheel’ in Belgium. The new BOB campaign ‘BOB protects lives’, therefore, calls […]

Flanders: No more fines for late car inspections due to long waiting times

June 02, 2023

Those who present their vehicles late because of long waiting times at technical inspection centers in Flanders will soon no longer be fined. This was announced by Flemish Minister for Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open VLD). This is a temporary measure. When the problems in the car inspection sector are over, there will be no more […]

BYD accused of breaking Chinese emissions standards by Great Wall Motors

May 31, 2023

Chinese car manufacturer Great Wall Motors has accused rival BYD of not complying with Chinese environmental standards with two of its hybrid models. According to Great Wall, the fuel tanks of these models were leaking noxious fumes. BYD has responded by denying these accusations, citing independent national certifications. The accusations come from testing performed by […]

Brussels Airport back to profit and plans to slash 1.500 night flights

May 25, 2023

Brussels Airport Company, the operator of Zaventem airport, posted a net profit of 16 million euros last year. It is the first time in three years that it’s back in the black. “The profit in 2022 was still limited, but it does shed light at the end of the tunnel,” said airport chief Arnaud Feist. […]

Road signs in Flanders cause row over language legislation

May 24, 2023

Flemish Minister of Mobility and Public Works Lydia Peeters (Open Vld) blows the whistle on her administration over the use of road signs that state ‘Liège’ instead of ‘Luik’, preferring the language of the destination instead of the location language of the signs. According to Peeters, the practice violates language laws. She wants the road […]

Uber Commission: no illegal practices by Brussels government members

May 23, 2023

The Brussels Parliament’s special Uber Commission has not found any “illegal or illicit practices” on the part of government members or illegal lobbying practices by both Uber and actors in the traditional taxi sector. Those findings, 20 in general, were approved on Monday by all political groups except PVDA, and 14 recommendations were also formulated. […]

Brussels Pentagon gets 250 drop zones for e-scooters

May 23, 2023

By early autumn, the City of Brussels will have set up 250 drop zones for e-scooters from sharing platforms in the Pentagon. So says Brussels Alderman for Mobility Bart Dhondt (Groen). The Brussels government is working on a decree to regulate the operation of shared bikes and e-scooters in the Brussels region. Among other things, […]

One fifth of Flemish car users continue to manipulate mobile phone while driving

May 23, 2023

Using your mobile phone behind the wheel is prohibited by law, yet 17% of Flemish car drivers say they continue to use the device while driving. This is according to a survey of 454 motorists aged between 18 and 54 conducted on behalf of the Flemish Foundation for Transport Studies (VSV). To alert these thick-headed […]

Fisker not averse to collaboration with others

May 22, 2023

Last week, Fisker Inc. CEO Henrik Fisker declared he is exploring collaboration with other companies to scale up market share faster, speaking at the Reuters Automotive Conference in Munich. During interviews at the conference, senior executives of other EV makers, Polestar and Smart, said they are open to partnerships to address supply chain and technology […]

Stellantis threatens to leave UK and urges for more battery production sites

May 22, 2023

British car plants will close with the loss of thousands of jobs unless the Brexit deal is swiftly renegotiated, Stellantis warned. Ford also added its voice to the latest warning from the auto industry since Britain left the European Union. Stellantis told lawmakers that under the current deal, it would face increased tariffs when exporting […]

Belgium’s legal framework to retrofit ICE cars to electric is ready

May 22, 2023

After France created a legal framework for retrofitting vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE) into an electrical (or hydrogen) EV, Belgium is also ready from June 1st, 2023. Federal Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo) drafted a new Royal decree by mutual agreement with the Regions, which now have their homologation services to publish updated […]

Kilometer charge in Brussels continues to stir emotions

May 22, 2023

Last week, the various Belgian transport federations expressed dissatisfaction with the Flemish government’s renewed Flemish Energy and Climate Plan, which once again provides for road pricing only for trucks. Now Walloon MP François Desquesnes (Les Engagés) is also stirring in the debate on possibly introducing a kilometer charge for passenger cars. He does not want […]

Stricter rules drunk driving in Belgium: at 1,2% driving license lost

May 19, 2023

From 1 June, Belgium is lowering the threshold for immediate revocation of the driving license of those drunk behind the wheel. The standard then lowers from 1,5% to 1,2%. This was announced by Mobility Minister Georges Gilkinet (Ecolo). The measure will come into force on 1 June. To tackle alcohol behind the wheel even more […]

Brussel hands out 180 000 hours of free parking tickets

May 19, 2023

A charm offensive by the city of Brussels toward merchants and shopping motorists. Indeed, the city of Brussels is going to distribute thousands of free parking tickets. This was announced by Alderman for Economic Affairs, Fabian Maingain (DEFI). By doing so, he wants to support downtown merchants while encouraging “efficient mobility solutions”. Guide motorists’ behavioral […]

Dieselgate: finally Belgian class action against VW on trial

May 16, 2023

Nine years after the Dieselgate scandal ‘exploded’, Volkswagen and its Belgian importer D’Ieteren Auto are facing trial in Brussels in a class action initiated by consumer organization Test Aankoop/Test Achat (TA). According to TA, several trials abroad have proved enough that Volkswagen has used cheating software in its cars. D’Ieteren itself admitted 300 000 vehicles […]

Transport federations also want kilometer charge for passenger cars

May 15, 2023

The Flemish government has adopted the updated Flemish Energy and Climate Plan (VEKP). To meet the target of -40% greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, the government is taking additional measures, including extending the truck kilometer charge and a support mechanism for new and second-hand zero-emission vehicles. However, the Transport Federations regret that kilometer charging for […]

Macron could exclude non-European electric cars from EV bonus

May 12, 2023

French President, Emmanuel Macron, could announce a reform of the government’s EV bonus plan. The suggestion could be based on the vehicle’s carbon footprint, thus excluding cars produced in heavy-polluting countries such as China. However, it’s easier said than done. For a few months now, France has considered a way to exclude vehicles built far […]

Wallonia: new car taxation scheme finally approved

May 11, 2023

After a large consulting round, the Walloon government has approved an upgraded and comprehensively altered version of the Walloon car taxation scheme. The most important change is that the scheme only applies to the registration tax, not the yearly road tax. The new system will be introduced in July 2025. “This tax reform aims to […]

Belgium investigates greenwashing at Brussels Motor Show

May 05, 2023

Car manufacturers are not allowed to extol the virtues of their products by using terms like ‘sustainable’ or ‘eco smart’. Greenwashing is forbidden. This is what the Belgian Federal Service for Economy says, following checks at the latest motor show in Brussels. During that motor show in January 2023, inspectors checked whether exhibitors at the […]

Brussels to limit number of shared e-scooters to 8.000

May 05, 2023

Whether it is an effect of the recent ban in Paris is not immediately clear, but Brussels is drastically changing course about shared vehicles. Starting next year, the Brussels government wants to allow a maximum of 8 000 shared e-scooters on the capital’s streets. From 2024, there would only be room for two operators versus […]

California to phase out ICE trucks sales by 2036 to 2042

May 04, 2023

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has voted unanimously to start phasing out trucks with internal combustion engines (ICE) by mandating zero-emission vehicles in fleets with the so-called Advanced Clean Fleets regulation. The first phase is set to start in 2025 in harbor environments, followed by a sales stop for combustion box trucks, vans, buses, […]

Dieselgate: former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler also pleads guilty (Update)

May 04, 2023

After Wolfgang Hatz, a former top manager at VW Group car manufacturing daughters Audi and Porsche, changed his attitude in Court, former Audi CEO Rupert Stadler has finally given in, and now follows the same strategy, both pleading guilty to installing emissions-cheating software in cars to mislead official emission measurements (commonly known as ‘dieselgate‘). Until […]

Traffic fines go up 10% in the Netherlands

May 02, 2023

Traffic fines are going up by 10% in the Netherlands. The increase in penalties will probably go into effect on January 1. The Ministry of Justice and Security must contribute to covering the government deficit and thus does so by increasing traffic fines. All departments, except Defense, must contribute to balancing the Dutch budget. For […]

Peeters wants to (re)introduce premium for second-hand e-cars

May 02, 2023

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 […]

New Walloon car taxation means higher taxes for expensive EVs

May 02, 2023

Wallonia is finally delivering its car tax reform after much bickering. It will take effect from July 20th and apply only to registration tax (TMC), the tax that must be paid when a new vehicle is purchased and thus registered before it’s allowed on the street. The annual circulation tax will remain unchanged, but the […]

Only residents to park in Antwerp’s historic city streets

May 02, 2023

Parking in Antwerp’s historic city center will be mainly reserved for residents and permit holders from August 1st. Visitors will have to go to parking buildings and underground parking garages or park-and-ride zones, often situated at the edge of the city. Never before has Antwerp taken such a drastic measure to discourage motorists from entering […]

Flanders: Speed pedelecs soon welcome on towpaths

April 28, 2023

In Flanders, speed pedelecs are only allowed on towpaths being part of a bicycle highway. However, according to the new policy vision on towpaths, Flemish Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters Open Vld) has agreed with the Flemish Waterway (Vlaamse Waterweg), those fast-riding e-bikes will get access to all towpaths in Flanders, provided they respect the maximum […]

Ombudsrail: ‘2 in 3 complaints related to international train traffic’

April 27, 2023

Last year, for the first time since its existence, the ombudsperson office for train passengers reported more complaints about international train traffic than domestic traffic. That is what the 2022 annual report of Ombudsrail indicates. In 2022, Ombudsrail received 3 395 files for which it is responsible, compared to 2 665 one year before. Almost […]

New kilometer charge tariffs for trucks from 1 July

April 26, 2023

As of Saturday, 1 July 2023, new tariffs for the kilometer charge will apply in Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia. In Flanders and Brussels, this is an index adjustment. The tariffs for the kilometer charge were indexed in Wallonia on 1 January, and Sofico (Société wallonne de financement complémentaire des infrastructures) will implement a tariff adjustment […]