The RAI Association calls for the Dutch government to set up a fund to encourage the further transition to electric driving. Sales of electric cars in the Netherlands are down compared to last year.
- The Dutch government seems unwilling to further encourage electric driving after 2025.
- As a result, climate targets for mobility will not be met, says the RAI Association.
- The interest group therefore argues for a billion-dollar fund to further stimulate electric driving.
The RAI Association, the interest group of car manufacturers and importers, wants the Dutch government to set up a billion-dollar fund to further encourage the transition to electric driving. Current government measures will cease to exist in 2025. Without new incentives, CO₂ emission reduction targets will not be met, warns Huub Dubbelman, chairman of the RAI Association’s passenger car section.
According to Dubbelman, €1.5bn to €2bn per year is needed in the period 2025 to 2030 to achieve the required climate targets for mobility. This money could come from the Klimaatfonds. “That fund is now mainly intended for industry and agriculture. However, too little account has been taken of mobility, while this category also has to meet climate targets.”
According to the CBS statistics office, mobility-related activities emitted 29.8 millon tonnes of CO₂ in 2021. The government’s latest known target is to reduce these emissions to 24 million tonnes by 2030. This includes not only emissions from passenger cars, but also from road transport.
The advocacy organisation’s plea comes at a time when sales of new all-electric cars are lower than last year. Only a third of the million subsidies available for private electric car purchases this year has been used, while it was completely exhausted at this time last year.
The RAI Association attributes the lower sales to uncertainty about government policy after 2025. “This suggests that financial stimulation of electric driving remains necessary,” Dubbelman said. As things stand, the cabinet does not intend to maintain the purchase subsidy in 2025 and beyond. Motor vehicle tax would also have to be paid for electric cars from 2025.
Dubbelman expects people to continue driving their older and less clean cars without a financial incentive. The price difference between an electric car and a conventional car has decreased less than the government assumed. In the years until 2030, the year when a pay-for-use system will be introduced, incentives should therefore remain in place, says the RAI Association.
Any motor vehicle tax that to apply to electric cars should include a correction for the higher weight of these cars, the association argues. In addition, lease drivers should receive a lower additional taxable benefit for private use. Dubbelman added: “The additional taxable benefit has been considerably inflated in recent years and, due to the higher list price of electric cars, is not much different from the additional taxable benefit for a petrol car.”
Besides money for incentives, the billions advocated by the RAI Association partly include compensation for lost government revenue. Dubbelman said: “Finance now wants the annual revenue of €20bn from car taxes to remain intact. But that is unsustainable.”
Because, according to the RAI Association executive, that would mean that groups that cannot yet afford an electric car would face much heavier charges. “So a bridging period is needed. In a few years, there will be more lower-priced electric cars on the market.” On 28 June, the House of Representatives’ Finance Committee will meet to discuss the future of car taxes.
This article originally appeared in Dutch business newspaper FD, on 16 June 2023