Concept paper for the development of a strategic Belgian electric vehicle plan

Cathy Macharis, Joeri Van Mierlo, Maarten Messagie, Kenneth Lebeau, Jean-Charles Jacquemin, Fabienne Mathot, Thomas Neuville

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


In October 2009 the European Council set the appropriate abatement objective for Europe at 80-95% below 1990 levels by 2050. This roadmap demonstrated that there is a need of 95% decarbonisation of the road transport sector as well as of the power sector.
After 2020, further (more than 30%) engine efficiency improvements are limited and relatively costly, while the amount of biofuels that will be available may be limited. Hence the electrification of passenger cars is required.
Electric vehicles can be fuelled by a wide variety of primary energy sources - including gas, coal, oil, biomass, wind, solar and nuclear - reducing oil dependency and enhancing energy security.
Electric vehicles are very silent and have zero emissions while driving. Hence they significantly improve local air quality. They can be made close to CO2-free, depending on the primary energy source used. Zero-emission power-trains therefore go hand-in-hand with the decarbonisation of energy supply.
With the current Belgian electricity mix Electric vehicles emit 1/3 of CO2 emissions compared to a petrol vehicle on a well-to-wheel basis. In line with the Belgian NAP targets (20% renewable electricity production in 2020) the electric vehicle environmental impact will further decrease. Electromobility also opens possibilities for new business models and new economic activities.
Nevertheless all these benefits, it isn't straight forward that the conventional vehicle market transform to an electric mobility market. The electric mobility is confronted to a couple of persisting barriers for market penetration, like current high purchase price, limited range and lack of charging infrastructure (range anxiety).
Because of the early stage of technological development private investments are still rather limited due to high investment risks. Electric propulsion systems require high initial investments in technology development and infrastructure to be able to compete due to the technological "lock-in" of road transport - which is highly dominated by hydrocarbon fuels.
A clear policy framework and the definition of a reliable time frame could reduce investment risks and foster the deployment of electrically driven vehicles.
Many European countries have for this reason developed electric vehicle master plans with clear objectives and corresponding budgets.
The objectives of this draft concept paper for the development of a strategic Belgian Electric Vehicle plan is hence: Summarising the advantages and barriers of electric mobility, Developing scenarios for market introduction, inclusive milestones and policy measureses, Assessment of the order of magnitudes of the cost and benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2012


  • Sustainable mobility
  • Masterplan
  • Electric vehicle


Dive into the research topics of 'Concept paper for the development of a strategic Belgian electric vehicle plan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this