In the Netherlands, buyers of a new taxi or van can receive funding from October 1 when they choose clean technology. Factory-fitted natural gas vehicles qualify for a EUR 1,250 (USD 1,608) grant. The subsidy, which earlier this month has been notified to the European Commission, is intended to improve air quality in inner cities, where taxis and courier vans make multiple relatively short journeys. There is EUR 25 million (USD 32 million) available from the National Air Quality Cooperation Programme (NSL).
Minister Atsma (Infrastructure and Environment): “I’m glad we’re in this age of austerity can stimulate more entrepreneurs to switch to a more sustainable operation. When taxi companies, delivery services and other many riders opt for cleaner engine technology, this money is very purposeful in place correctly: in urban areas where air quality under the most pressure.”
The subsidy is only available to buyers who do not have to pay purchase tax (BPM) and is therefore insensitive to the fiscal stimulus that already exists in the variation of BPM rates for more and less clean cars. Driving on natural gas already offers the advantage of lower energy costs; a purchase subsidy could help the make the higher purchase price more acceptable.
The grant scheme is also open to other non-BPM vehicles, such as for police, fire brigade and ambulances, disabled vehicles and wheelchair buses, hearses, cash transporters, etc. The subsidy can be applied to vehicles purchased after 1 October 2012 and before January 1, 2015 through the Agentschap NL government office. The integrated scheme is published this week in the Government Gazette.
According to NGV Global statistics, the Netherlands had more than 4,300 natural gas vehicles and 56 refuelling stations at the end of 2011.
(This article compiled using information from an Agentschap NL press release)