[FONT=Helvetica]I just read in the newspaper a medium-sized article about electric cars in Belgium. I thought it would interest you.[/FONT][FONT=Helvetica]I could scan it, then upload it, but since it is in Dutch, I don’t think that would help much.[/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica]So I will translate it by hand. My apologies if some details are translated wrong.[/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica]Note 1: Joke is a common Belgium surname, and is, hence, not a joke.[/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica]Note 2: The newspaper is a regional newspaper, focusing on the news at the north-eastern province of Limburg, not the whole country. This will be clear in the article below.[/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica]Source: Het Belang van Limburg[/FONT]
[h=1]Municipalities have no interest in electric cars[/h][FONT=Helvetica][size=3]Only 68 vehicles in 308 municipalities ( = total number of municipalities in Flanders, i.e. the northern half of Belgium )[/size][/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica]The Flemish government gives municipalities subsidies for buying electric vehicles, but they are not interested. The 308 municipalities and five provinces together only have bought 68 vehicles with subsidies.[/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica]That seems the answer from minister of Environment Joke Schauvliege on a question from a member of the Flemish parliament Lode Vereeck.[/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica]The subsidies are about 30 percent on the sale price of a car, and up to 50 percent on the sale price of a bike or scooter. Municipalities and provinces can also convert the subsidies to points which can then be traded in for a reduction in the salary taxes of municipality and provincial sustainability officers.[/FONT]
[FONT=Helvetica]But municipalities and provinces aren’t interested at all. These are the numbers:[/FONT]
*]Just 16 municipalities and two provinces together bought 39 electric vehicles. They gained 462,385 euro subsidies. About 304,719 euro is paid back already.
*]Another 13 municipalities bought 29 electric vehicles, but opted for points.
*]It seems to be about 23 light trucks, 18 quads, 13 passenger cars, 8 scooters and 6 bikes.
*]Antwerp is the city with the most subsidized electric vehicles (22)
*]Only one municipalities asked and gained a subsidy for an electric charging station: Diepenbeek.
The Limburgish municipalities with the most amount of subsidies are Diepenbeek (1 car and 1 light truck), Ham (1 light truck), Hasselt (1 scooter, 1 quad and 1 light truck), Houthalen-Helchteren (1 car) and Zonhoven (1 light truck). The province of Limburg has 1 quad.
Market electric vehicles crashes
The sales of electric passenger cars has crashed completely in Belgium.
The foremost reason is the abolition of the reduction of federal taxes. In 2011 Belgium counted 281 new electric vehicles. In 2012 the number rose to 886 new electric vehicles. But in 2013 the numbers went back to 375 new electric vehicles. 288 of the 375 are fully electric, while 42 are hybrid cars and 45 have a range extender.
10 tips for more electric traffic
Lode Vereeck finds it sad that so little municipalities and provinces use the subsidies, because they should give the example for a more environmentally friendly cars. He gives 10 ideas to get to that example.
1 Abolising BIV (tax on buying cars) and no more road tax for electric vehicles
2 Less taxes and VAT on the purchase
3 Lower VAT on electricity used by charging stations
4 Lesser VAA (advantage of any kind) (translator’s note: No idea myself what that means)
5 A mobility budget instead of company cars
6 More investments in charging infrastructure
7 Use of free bus lanes and free parking
8 Gaining low emission zomes where only electric vehicles may drive
9 Governments must give the primary example
10 Gaining a battery warranty funds