Tax breaks, incentives leading Europeans to buy cleaner cars

Countries with taxes, subsidies and other incentives that encourage consumers to purchase lower CO2-emitting vehicles have seen a drop in CO2 emissions from new passenger cars, according to new data from the European Environment Agency.

Incentives such as taxes or subsidies that encourage consumers to purchase lower CO2-emitting vehicles are having a positive environmental impact. According to new data from the European Environment Agency (EEA), countries with such incentives have seen a steady fall in average CO2 emissions of new passenger cars.

Norway has the lowest average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars sold in 2016 due to the country’s wide use of taxes and other incentives, according to the EEA briefing “Appropriate taxes and incentives do affect purchases of new cars”.

The number of European countries offering incentives that promote the use of hybrids and battery electric vehicles jumped considerably from 2010 to 2016. All but one (Poland) now have incentives in place.

But to foster the uptake of electric vehicles, more charging facilities are needed to put to rest concerns that consumers contemplating electric vehicles have with respect to reliability and range limitation, warned the analysis. Only 11 countries had specific incentives in place to foster more charging facilities for battery-powered cars in 2016.

While the trend for passenger cars is quite positive, emissions from trucks, buses and coaches, in contrast, are expected to increase further if new measures to curb emissions are not taken. Heavy duty vehicles are currently responsible for 27 per cent of road transport CO2 emissions, and they are expected to rise by up to 10 per cent in 2030 compared to 2010 without additional actions to curb emissions.

Photo by Caleb Whiting on Unsplash

 

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