The Electric Vehicle (EV) market penetration in Belgium, in comparison with other European countries such as the Netherlands, is progressing much slower than expected, even with consumers showing a similar interest in EVs. Why is this the case?
This study provides a detailed overview of the EV ecosystem in Belgium, while comparing it with other European countries. Furthermore, barriers that are slowing down the EV adoption are identified and concrete solutions are proposed in order to increase the EV uptake in Belgium. This report compiles our research and market insights, input from interviews with industry experts, as well as observations and lessons from Capgemini Invent’s industry consulting experience.
Belgian EV Ecosystem
- Compared to the other European countries analyzed into the study, Belgium shows the smallest increase of new EV registrations in recent years. Likewise, the evolution of a charging infrastructure over the last three years has largely remained stagnant, while many other European countries have gone the distance.
- The average annual growth in market share of EV registrations in Belgium over the past three years has been a mere 14.3%. In comparison, Germany and Luxembourg have both seen a growth of well over 40%, while The Netherlands has seen its EV registrations catapult to an astounding 174%.
- Brussels, even as the Belgian and European capital, has a mere 23 fully public charging stations. As a comparison: London, Amsterdam and Rotterdam each have installed thousands of public charging points.
Challenges & Opportunities
- In most Belgian cities, little is being done by governmental and municipal agencies to help accelerate EV adoption by way of charging infrastructure. In the best case, they will facilitate installations by private enterprises. At worst, they will work towards banning cars from cities outright.
- The Belgian government has largely halted what little EV incentives they offered in the past. The purchase of an EV in Belgium is among the most expensive in Europe. In Belgium, a Tesla Model 3 is almost €15,000 more expensive than in Norway.
- Almost 53% of Belgian buyers find that taxes and subsidies for different types of fuel are so unclear that they would even reconsider buying an electric car.
Belgians are very interested in electrical vehicles. However, the utter lack of clear information is staggering. Neither the government, leasing companies, energy suppliers, or OEMs are providing potential EV drivers with the necessary information to assuage their worries and concerns.
Proposed Approach & Solutions
- Considering the very limited support of the government, if EV adoption is to accelerate in Belgium, the various players active in the EV ecosystem need to devise a clear path forward and collaborate where possible to align on the way forward.
- To overcome the challenge of the missing infrastructure, OEMs should form partnerships with charging point operators. A combined offering that would allow for a clear process to install a charging station after purchasing an EV would go a long way in reassuring reluctant customers.
It is absolutely essential for OEMs to come together and provide customers with clear information. Customers should be made aware of the financial implications, the existing and planned charging infrastructure, the various types of charging points and the offered driving range. Likewise, successful steps taken by other European countries provide a clear way forward for the Belgian government in facilitating the EV transformation.
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