Norway and The Netherlands are the undisputed kings of electric mobility. Together, they share a total number of over 240,000 electric vehicles on the road. Not a shocker, as Norway’s been ahead of the game since the 1990s, when it introduced the first electric-car incentives. As a result, half of all new vehicles in Norway are fully-electric or plug-in hybrids today. The Netherlands on the other hand, is the world’s most advanced in the implementation of electric public transportation and charging infrastructure. Dutch trains, subways and trams are 100% electric, and Dutch public charging points are fully powered by wind energy.
In the wake of Paris Agreement, it’s become pretty obvious that Europe’s EV market does not just evolve around its northern nations anymore. Belgium, France, Germany, and the UK are all catching up on incentives to promote clean cars that’ll help them reach those stricter emission standards. For each country, we've listed the three most important incentives you'd want to know about.
Though not much of an early adopter, Belgium is catching up rapidly! In 2016, the number of electric-car sales in Belgium almost tripled, and the number of charging points grew by 350% as compared to 2015.
- Purchase grant: €4.000 grant in Flanders for private car owners.
- Ownership tax: (Plug-in) electric vehicles are exempt from ownership tax in Flanders. They also pay the lowest rate of the annual ownership (circulation) tax (€74 instead of €1.900) in all three regions.
- Company car tax: 120% for fully-electric vehicles, and 100% for vehicles emitting between 1 and 60 g/km of CO2 deductible from company expenses. Above 60 g/km, the deductibility rate decreases from 90% to 50%.
Living in Belgium? You can find the most public charging locations in Antwerp, Brussels & Ghent. Prefer charging at home or at work? We do too. Request a charging point here.
France made tremendous gains in electric-car numbers over the past few years. Going from less than 10,000 registered electric vehicles in 2012, to over 100,000 in 2016.
- Purchase grant: If you swap your diesel (bought before 2016) for a fully-electric model, you’re eligible for €6.000 (environmental bonus) and €4.000 as a “thank-you for switching to electric”. If you swap your diesel (bought before 2016) with a plug-in hybrid, you’re eligible for €1.000 (environmental bonus) and €2.500 as a “thank-you for switching to electric”.
- Ownership tax: Both fully-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are eligible for either a 50% discount or are exempt from the license plate tax depending on the province.
- Company car tax: Fully-electric vehicles are exempt from this tax. Plug-in hybrids are exempt from the tax for two years.
Living in France? Your best bet on finding a public charging point is in the Southwest of France. Prefer charging at home or at work? We do too. Request a charging point here.
The UK government pledged a £290m sum to boost the industry of low emission vehicles. £80m of this amount is dedicated to improving charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.
- Purchase grant: The Plug-In Car Grant covers 35% of the cost of a car (up to a maximum of £4,500 depending on the model) and 20% of the cost of a van, up to a maximum of £8,000. This is without doubt the important incentive for private vehicles in the UK. In some cases, it can reduce the total cost of electric vehicles below the cost of conventional cars! (More details)
- Ownership tax: Fully-electric vehicles costing less than £40,000 are exempt from the annual road tax. (More details)
- Company car tax: (Plug-in) electric vehicles emitting less than 50g/km of CO2 have their company car tax set at only 9% for 2017-18. 13% in 2018-19, and 16% in 2019-20. The tax on any diesel company car is 4-8% higher. (More details)
Living in the UK? Most of the public charging points are located in Glasgow and North East. Prefer charging at home or at work? We do too. Get up to 75% off of the installation of your charging point at home or at the workplace with the OLEV grant. This equates up to £500 (incl. VAT) per household / eligible vehicle! Request a charging point here.
Home to the most beloved combustion engine car manufacturers, German has been the slowest of the bunch in pushing pro-electric plans. But as of last year, Germany has adopted an incentive and investment program to encourage a switch to plug-in hybrids. Additionally, it has approved a push for a Europe-wide ban on combustion engine vehicles by 2030.
- Purchase grant: €4,000 for fully-electric vehicles and €3,000 euros for plug-in hybrids. The grant applies only to cars up to a maximum list price of €60,000.
- Ownership tax: 10 year exemption for fully-electric vehicles registered between 2011 and 2020. PHEVs pay the tax, which is lowered in proportion to their lower CO2.
- Company car tax: 1% over the discounted car (battery) price. €300/kW (up to €8.000) discount on the list price for fully-electrics and plug-in hybrids in 2017. €250/kW (up to €7.500) discount on the list price for fully-electrics and plug-in hybrids in 2018.
Living in Germany? Stuttgart is your best bet in finding a public charging points! Prefer charging at home or at work? We do too. Request a charging point here.
Norway’s original goal was to have 100,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2020. As of last year, Norway has already exceeded this number, as there are now more than 121,000 electric vehicles on the Norwegian roads. Quite impressive for its relatively small population of just 6 million.
- Purchase tax: No purchase tax and no VAT on purchase.
- Ownership tax: NOK 455 is the annual road tax for both fully-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, as opposed to NOK 2.820 for petrol and NOK 3.290 for diesel cars.
- Company car tax: 50% discount for both fully-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
Living in Norway? The most public charging points are located in Bergen and Oslo. Prefer charging at home or at work? We do too. Request a charging point here.
The Netherlands is planning to phase out all internal combustion engine vehicles by 2035. The Netherlands has the highest ratio between public charging points and electric vehicles. 47% of Dutch drivers often or always charge at work.
- Purchase tax: Fully-electric vehicles and PHEVs are both exempt from this tax. PHEVs will need to pay additional fees based on the CO2 emitted. (More details)
- Ownership tax: Fully-electric vehicles are exempt from this tax, while PHEVs get a 50% discount. High CO2 emitting vehicles of +12 years old, will need to pay another 15% on top of the tax starting 2019. (More details)
- Company car tax: 4% for fully-electric vehicles only, 22% for both PHEVs and high CO2emitting vehicles. (More details)
Driving in the Netherlands? Public charging points are all over the place! Most of them are located in Amsterdam and Utrecht. Prefer charging at home or at work? We do too. Request a charging point here.
Excited? There are plenty of perks too.
The incentives listed in this article are defined by each country’s leading government and are always implemented nationwide. Many cities though, go a step further to get their citizens behind the electric wheel. This means that on top of your usual financial incentives, your electric car may be eligible for extra perks, depending on the city you live in or drive by:
- Free public parking
- Exemption from toll charges
- Access to HOV lanes and bus lanes
- Exemption from ferry fees
- Free charging on public charging points
You get a car. And you get a car. Everybody, go get an electric car!
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