Source: VRT news | FEBIAC | AVERE: The Flemish government will stop the purchase premiums for electric cars, electric scooters AND electric motorcycles from January 1 next year. According to Flemish Minister for Energy Zuhal Demir (N-VA), the premium has too little effect. Sector organizations (FEBIAC, AVERE) think this is a wrong decision.

Flemish government rejects purchase premium for electric vehicles in Belgium \ EMN
EMN promoting electric motorcycles & scooters on a carfree Sunday at Boechout (Belgium). In cooperation with Electric Motorbikes (picture: EMN)

Whoever buys a “zero-emission vehicle” – a fully electric vehicle or a hydrogen-powered car – can apply for a premium for this. The amount of that premium can amount to 4,000 euros. The premium must encourage people to buy a “zero-emission vehicle”, which can make the fleet greener. “But the measure does not live up to its expectations,” says Minister Demir.

Last year, for example, a total of 415 premiums were awarded while a total of nearly 2,700 new electric cars were registered, Demir says. The government therefore had to pay just over € 1.4 million, while € 5 million was foreseen. “The premium has had little influence on the willingness to buy from the average private Flemish citizen for such cars,” the minister concludes.

Flemish government rejects purchase premium for electric vehicles in Belgium \ EMN
EMN promoting electric motorcycles & scooters on a carfree Sunday at Boechout (Belgium). In cooperation with Electric Motorbikes (picture: EMN)

She first wants to work on the charging infrastructure. “If people buy an electric car, they naturally want to be sure that they are not stopping halfway. We are going to make that work as a priority. That will have more effect.”

Automobile federation FEBIAC finds the cancellation of these premiums incomprehensible. According to the organization, the breakthrough of electric cars has only just begun and support measures remain necessary.

AVERE, the Belgian federation for electro-mobility, reacts indignantly to the sudden abolition of the zero emission premium. The abolition comes just as the sale of the electric cars starts to pick up.

The timing is particularly poorly chosen, the federation argues. In 2020, large quantities of new electric vehicles will come to the Belgian market. About 300 electric models (cars !) are expected in the coming years, which would cause the price of the vehicles to gradually start dropping. With the abolition of the zero emission premium, AVERE expects car manufacturers to be less interested in the Flemish market and that waiting times for electric vehicles will increase.

EMN: Of course we have to work on charging infrastructure. That is obvious. Now we have too many different systems and pay methods. But the decision to cancel the premium is unworthy for a country like Belgium. The electric mobility market is a starting business and is gradually becoming known to the public. We know that a lot of manufacturers have some new models ready for the near future. It’s very sad to hear that the premiums are cancelled.

Guy Salens

Guy Salens (motorcycle enthousiast): I want to show the world an overview of existing electric motorcycles and future projects. Because it's time.