18 Jan 19

Belgian region launches group purchase for electric cars

In a bid to boost the market share of electric vehicles, the Flemish government is organising a group purchase. The Belgian car manufacturing association is not amused: “Is this the government’s job?”

Environment Minister Lydia Peeters of Flanders, the Dutch-speaking region in the northern half of Belgium, hopes a group purchase will help boost the number of EVs on the region’s roads from 1.94% last year to 7.5% by 2020.

The group purchase offers the choice of four models: a Peugeot iON with a starting price of €16,652, a Renault Zoe from €16,450, a Nissan Leaf from €32,133 or a Hyundai Kona Electric from €34,149. Additional options like a charging station or solar panels can be added to the purchase.

In a reaction to VRT, Joost Kaesemans, spokesperson of Febiac, the Belgian car manufacturing association, was critical of the initiative. “I think the Flemish government has other duties. It is important to support new technologies and price can indeed be an obstacle, but an electric car also relies on energy supply, green energy and energy transition. These are all factors that require a lot of work.”

He added: “Most electric cars are still more expensive than other cars, which a group purchase can avoid. Nevertheless, this should be part of carmakers’ commercial policies.”

Image: Tesla showroom in Brussels

Authored by: Benjamin Uyttebroeck