Flemish Electric Car Premiums Exceed Budget

Sarhan Basem
credit: newmobility

Brussels (Brussels Morning) – Flemish premiums for electric cars, requested by MP Sofie Mertens, have exceeded the budgeted amount, reaching 27.7 million euros. Despite concerns, Minister Peeters assures all applicants will receive incentives.

The Flemish premiums for electric cars with an acquisition price below 40,000 euros are growing rapidly. Too hard. This is apparent from the figures that Flemish Member of Parliament Sofie Mertens (CD&V) requested from Flemish Minister of Mobility Lydia Peeters (Open VLD). 

What Concerns Does MP Mertens Express About Premiums?

On April 18, the counter already stood at 27.7 million euros in applications – well more than the budgeted 20 million.

“The figures show that the amount will be far above the anticipated amount if this continues,” states Mertens. “We as a party have always said that these premiums were not a good idea.” The Council of State previously warned that it is impossible for people to no longer receive subsidies once the fund is empty.

Will Minister Peeters Ensure Payment of All Premiums?

Minister Peeters pledges to pay out all premiums. “That was decided collectively by the Flemish government. Everyone who applies for their incentives this year will receive them.” The premiums can still be applied for until December 31. “In addition, checks still need to be carried out. It is by no means certain that we will approve all applications and will have to pay out 27.7 million euros.”

The Peeters cabinet stresses that the planned 20 million euros was a starting point. The pot was previously extended to 26 million euros through a reform of the kilometre charge for trucks.

Although coalition associates CD&V and N-VA are losing weight, Peeters does not regret the premium. “Never before have so many e-cars been registered. Prices drop. Air quality improves. This is partly thanks to our premium.”

Where Will Funding for Premiums Come From?

Although Peeters claims that a collegial decision will be made as to where the money for the premiums should be sought, elsewhere it is consistently said that she will have to get the money from a liberal ministerial portfolio. “I fear that the entire premium will be scrapped after the June 9 elections,” Mertens estimates.

The premium system started on February 12 and is intended for private individuals, non-profit organizations and car-sharing providers. Anyone who buys a new electric car with a new price of less than 40,000 euros can count on 5,000 euros in Flemish support

For a second-hand car, this amounts to 3,000 euros and the initial purchase price may not exceed 60,000. Originally, the premium could be applied for three years. That period has already been shortened to one year. At the current pace, 500 applications will be added per month until the end of the year.

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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.