Luxembourgh Times

Luxembourgers lukewarm about buying electric cars

Only half of car owners consider switching to an electric car, well below the EU average of 67%

Electric car charging stations in Luxembourg

Electric car charging stations in Luxembourg © Photo credit: Anouk Antony

Kathryn Oglesby

Only half of Luxembourg’s car owners plan to buy an electric vehicle next time they purchase a new automobile - a number way below the EU average - according to the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Luxembourg - a country famous for its lowest fuel taxes and with the highest number of cars per resident in the EU - also has the highest level of carbon emissions compared to the size of its population.

Yet close to half of Luxembourgers said they would stick to a diesel or petrol-run vehicle if they next needed a new vehicle. Just over half planned to get an electric or hybrid vehicle, which combine electricity with fossil fuel.

Across the EU, 67% of people said they would buy electric or hybrid vehicles as their next cars.

Some 14,000 electric vehicles had been registered in Luxembourg in 2021, up from more than 8,000 in all of 2020, the government said in November.

The country has pledged to cut emissions by 55% over the next decade, but it has faced criticism from climate activists that it is showing no evidence of being able to meet its commitments to reduce carbon emissions in coming years.

In a bid to meet its climate targets Luxembourg will levy higher taxes on company cars as of next year. The new levy will add to the bills of those vehicles emitting 80g per kilometre from 2023, while drivers producing a smaller carbon footprint will not be impacted.

Under the new tax rate, a employee earning €70,000 gross per year, with a company car worth €40,000 and with leasing costs of €700 per month, will be charged between €800 and €4,000 in additional taxes depending on the amount of emissions their vehicle produces, according to the transport ministry.

Companies can avail of subsidies covering 50% of the cost of new e-car charging stations as part of an incentive to increase uptake, the government announced at the end of last year.