Belgium continues to develop natural gas for vehicles

August 7, 2020. Gas.be, the federation that brings together the Belgian gas industry, reported that “the first quarter was very positive in terms of vehicle orders with the impact of the January motor show and a series of initiatives of the manufacturers, in particular Seat, that promoted a lot compressed natural gas (CNG) with very advantageous conditions to buy”.

During the first six months of the year, the Belgian market approached 2,000 registrations. “It is in itself less important than in 2019, but it is explained by an April that had only 64 registrations due to Covid. Registrations were affected by the impossibility of delivering the vehicles. In June, there was a good increase because many people were able to receive their unit”, analyzes Didier Hendrickx, Director of Gas.be.” At the brand level, it is not surprising that Volkswagen is dominating the market with a very strong drive from Seat, which has widely advertised models such as the Arona and achieves very good results,” added the executive.

Beyond the big car brands, other players are appearing in the market. “For the past two years, Ssangyong has been adapting various vehicles with some success. There are also Belgian players who present quality versions”, explains the representative of Gas.be.

“During the rest of the year, one can be reasonably optimistic despite the circumstances. We believe that interest in CNG vehicles remains in Belgium, especially in Wallonia, where a premium of 500 euros is granted. The dynamics now seem to be more on the side of Wallonia than Flanders”, according to Hendrickx.

However, the market development will be conditioned by future policy measures. “We are still awaiting a major reform of the vehicle tax system that could have an interesting impact on the attractiveness of CNG units. In Flanders, there is still an exemption from the annual registration tax, but it ends towards the end of the year. On the other hand, in Wallonia there is no such advantage but a bonus of 500 euros. We hope that this reform will come out quickly. However, it is not easy. In Belgium, car taxation depends on both the regional and federal level.”

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