Flanders scraps electric car premiums, halting push for a ‘greener’ fleet
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Flanders scraps electric car premiums, halting push for a ‘greener’ fleet

An electric vehicle charging in Belgium. Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Flanders residents looking to buy an electric vehicle will no longer be able to benefit from a premium which could reach €4,000, the Flemish government announced.

The cabinet of Flemish Energy Minister, Zuhal Demir, said the premiums will be scrapped from January 2020, saying the measure did not meet expectations, as not enough applications were made in previous years, according to De Standaard.

Throughout 2018, just over 400 applications for premiums were made to the energy cabinet out of a total of 3,600 electric vehicle purchases, De Morgen reports.

As she neared the end of her term, Demir’s predecessor Lydia Peeters had moved to increase the premium in order to reach a 7.5 percentage of electric vehicles by the end of 2020, in a move she said was necessary to “speed up the greening of our fleet.”

The move was seen by Matthias Diependaele, who currently leads Flander’s budget ministry, as “gift,” calling instead on the money used for premiums to be invested in infrastructure.

Demir’s reversal of Peeter’s push for e-vehicles comes as the number of applications filed in the first half of this year reached 593 —compared to 415 in the whole of 2018— with payouts amounting to €2.2 million.

Residents in Flanders still looking to benefit from a premium, which could reach €4,000, can still apply for one until 31 December of this year.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times