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Flanders: New cars only electric from 2027

The Flemish Minister for Transport and Mobility has presented an ambitious plan: From 2027, all new vehicle registrations are to be electric only. She assumes that the purchase price for electric cars will be the same as for petrol or diesel cars from 2025/26. Experts have doubts and fear difficulties for the used car market.

From 2027 onwards, there should be no more registrations for petrol and diesel cars in Flanders. As if this goal were not ambitious enough, hybrid vehicles are also to be banned from this date.  Actually, these three engine models are not to be registered in Europe until 2035, only Norway wants to start in 2025. The Flemish minister's proposal also provides for no more used cars that run entirely or partly on fossil fuel to be registered from 2030. In plain language, this means that the last date to sell such a vehicle in Flanders is 2029. At the same time, however, the minister expects that electric vehicles will have the same purchase price as combustion cars as early as 2026. "At that point, the purchase price will no longer form an obstacle and consequently this restrictive measure will no longer be seen as a disadvantage."

But experts have doubts about the minister's optimistic view and think the plan is far too daring. For one thing, they say, everything depends on the availability of charging facilities, the installation of which has so far failed to keep pace with the sale of electric vehicles. In addition, they fear that the used car market for electric vehicles will no longer be able to meet demand. The used cars of 2030 are the new cars of today, and these new cars of today are only 5 percent electric. The biggest challenge is delivery traffic anyway: cars are only used five percent of the time on average, while delivery trucks are constantly on the road. In addition, trucks have a much longer life as used vehicles than passenger cars. For a van or truck with a fossil fuel drive, the lifespan until 2027 is far too short, he says.

If you look at the plans for the environmental zones in Antwerp and Ghent, the minister's plan no longer seems so utopian. After all, no Euro 5 diesel and no Euro 2 petrol vehicles are to be allowed to drive there from 2025. A further tightening could then follow from 2027, but no later than 2030.