Belgium - Country Commercial Guide
Electric Vehicles
Last published date:


Belgium’s electric vehicle (EV) sector offers significant opportunities for U.S. companies looking to expand or enter the Belgian market. The country’s EV sector is poised for substantial growth in the coming years, driven by favorable government policies, declining battery costs, and increasing consumer awareness. Opportunities exist in EV charging infrastructure; battery production, innovation, retrofitting, and recycling; and components/inputs for advanced vehicles and/or other areas related to technology transition. 


Belgium EV demand is increasing. 

  • In 2022, passenger EV sales in Belgium increased by 39.7 percent year-over-year to 98,356 units, representing an EV penetration rate of 26.9 percent of total new passenger vehicle sales.
  • Battery EV (BEV) sales increased by 72.1 percent year-over-year to reach 37,815 units.
  • Plug-in hybrid EV (PHEV) sales grew 25 percent to 60,541 units. 
  • According to Fitch Ratings, Belgium’s EV sales will grow 18 percent to 116,000 units in 2023, and its EV penetration rate will increase to 29.3 percent.
  • On the commercial vehicle side, at least 60 percent of new company cars registered in 2022 were EVs. Electric light-commercial vehicle sales increased 153.3 percent to 1,854 units and electric hybrid commercial vehicle (HCV) sales increased from 31 to 90 units in 2022. 
  • The combination of government-driven fleet electrification (buses) and the electrification of vehicles in logistics networks will drive strong commercial EV sales in the next decade. Given this, Fitch projects electric commercial vehicle sales in Belgium will grow 50 percent year-over-year to 2,900 units in 2023.

The Belgium and European Union (EU) regulatory environment is propelling the transition to EVs. 

The sales of passenger vehicles with internal combustion engines (ICEs) will be phased out by 2035 and several large cities in Belgium including Brussels, Antwerp, and Ghent are applying increasingly stringent entry restrictions on ICE vehicles. The EU Clean Vehicles Directive which came into play in August 2021 has also played an important role. The Directive requires Member States to purchase between 24–45 percent alternatively fueled buses between August in 2021 and December 2025. The European Commission has proposed that by 2030 only zero-emission city buses can be sold in the EU.

Tax incentives are also driving demand from individual consumers and companies.

As of October 2023, Flanders is offering a subsidy of up to 5000 Euro on the purchase of a new EV while the other regions have yet to follow.  Furthermore, individuals who purchase an EV can benefit from reduced taxes including a significantly lower value-added tax (VAT) for electricity consumption. In Brussels and Wallonia, purchasers of BEVs and fuel cell EVs (FCEVs) benefit from the minimum tax rates for the associated acquisition and ownership costs. Belgium sees company cars as the ′ideal lever’ to achieve its climate ambitions. For companies, it is possible to apply the maximum deductibility of 100 percent of expenses for passenger cars (M1 category) with ≤ 50g CO2/km and battery capacity ≥ 0.5kWh per 100kg of vehicle weight. This deductibility ended June 31, 2023 for PHEVs and will hence forth only be applied for zero emission vehicles. Companies can apply the minimal annual benefit in kind for BEVs, PHEVs, and FCEVs for passenger cars (M1 category), which is 4 percent of the list value. Companies also can apply at a federal level for a 35 percent deduction of investment in the purchase of BEV and FCEV commercial vehicles (categories N1-N3) as well as for the EV charging infrastructure. In Brussels, micro or small companies can get a €15,000 purchase incentive to buy a maximum of three electric vans per year (N1 category).

Belgium has significant EV production, manufacturing approximately 72,000 EVs in 2021.

The Audi Brussels plant produced almost 44,000 EVs while the Volvo plant in Ghent manufactured almost 25,000 EVs in 2021, with approximately 15 percent of those cars being fully electric.  Volvo plans to significantly increase EV manufacturing capacity to make EV capacity account for around 60 percent of the plant’s total production capacity. Van Hool, a Belgian family-owned coachbuilder and manufacturer of buses, coaches, trolleybuses, and trailers, presented a completely new range of 100 percent zero emission buses in 2022, and has initiatives underway to modify existing heavy-duty trucks to fully electric. Netherlands-based VDL Bus & Coach which has manufacturing plants in Roeselare, Belgium has delivered nearly 700 electric buses since 2017, and has plans to modify existing inventories.

Belgium is among the top global importers and exporters of EVs. 

According to the U.S. International Trade Commission, between 2017 and 2019, Belgium’s imports increased the most (in percentage terms) among European countries – 1,070 percent – from 261 million in 2017 to over $3 billion in 2019.  During the same period, Belgium was Europe’s top exporter of EVs – with almost $5.6 billion in EV exports in 2019 – a 3,186 percent increase from 2017.


Those U.S. companies willing and able to invest in research and development of EV technologies, expanded product portfolios, and strategic partnerships will Belgian EV players can position themselves to capitalize on the Belgian EV market opportunities – particularly vis-à-vis battery technology advancements, fleet electrification, fast-charging infrastructure, smart charging solutions, and charging stations at public spaces, workplaces, and residential areas. Partnerships with automakers and governments can accelerate the deployment of charging infrastructure. U.S. companies specializing in components/inputs for advanced vehicles and/or other areas related to technology transition – including advanced powertrains, increased autonomy, software integration, advanced electronics, sensors, controls, etc. – may also find excellent prospects in Belgium.   

Leading Sub-Sectors

Belgium is investing in its EV charging infrastructure. 

The addition of 13,000 new public charging stations in 2022 brings the total number of public charging stations across Belgium to more than 27,000. Of these, about 1,000 are high-power fast DC chargers. According to the industry association EV Belgium, there will be nearly 2 million electric EVs in Belgium by 2030, and the country will require 20,000 to 30,000 new charging points every year. The Brussels-Capitol regional government now says it is aiming to hit 11,000 points by 2035; however, meeting that demand will be contingent on solving some structural issues including modernizing the city’s power network to accommodate faster charging. French company Engie will install and operate 2,800 public EV charging stations in the Flemish provinces of Antwerp, Limburg, and West Flanders. The facilities will total 5,600 charge points since each station can charge two EVs. Among the regions, Flanders has set the most ambitious target: 100,000 charging points by 2030. At the federal level, Belgium’s government recognizes the need to increase the number of charging points, both at home and at work, to support the electrification of the fleet. Accordingly, property owners or tenants who purchase and install a charging point at home between 1 September 2021 and 31 August 2024 will benefit from a reduction in investment tax.

Battery production, innovation, retrofitting, and recycling.

There is significant opportunity in Belgium for battery manufacturers to expand their operations and invest in research to develop more efficient, longer-lasting batteries. In addition, developing sustainable and cost-effective battery recycling methods can also provide a competitive advantage. Given the shortage of resources for batteries and the load restrictions there may also be opportunities for refitting heavy duty commercial vehicles and maritime engines to use green hydrogen and in the recycling and recuperation of used heavy duty batteries. Key players include:

  • Belgian-based Umicore Rechargeable Battery Materials manufactures active cathode materials to enable the transition to electromobility. In 2023, Umicore and U.S. start-up Blue Current, a leading manufacturer of silicon elastic composite solid-state batteries, agreed to strengthen their joint venture collaboration on the development of solid-state battery technology.
  • Belgium-based Avesta Battery and Energy Engineering (ABEE) announced it will build a €1.4 billion electric car battery cell factory in Galaţi, Romania to supply batteries mainly for the automotive industry – Renault-Dacia and Ford – and for the stationary storage market. ABEE intends to complete the project’s first phase in 2026. In addition, ABEE plans to invest €200 million by the end of the decade in a recycling facility for electric equipment and batteries. ABEE has also signed an agreement to invest in the production of battery management systems in North Macedonia. 
  • Volvo’s new battery assembly operation in Ghent opened in May 2022 to supply batteries for the automaker’s full-electric heavy commercial vehicles (HCVs).

Doing Business in Belgium’s EV Sector 

The EV sector in Belgium is shaped by the policies of its national and regional governments, as well as the European Union. The regions of Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia hold the bulk of competences and responsibility regarding EVs and the infrastructure of charging points. The competences of the regions are town and country planning, the protection of the environment, the distribution and local transport of electricity, the rational use of energy, roads and their appurtenances, communal urban and regional transport, including special forms of transport (taxi services and car rental). The relevant competences of the federal state concern product standards, access to the transmission grid and security of supply. The federal government is also the competent authority for granting tax reductions via personal taxes and benefits in kind (such as company cars). The regions, on the other hand, are competent for road tax, the kilometer levy and the tax on traffic. Although U.S. exporters are not required to appoint a local agent or distributor to sell to Belgian companies, it is strongly recommended that companies consider partnering with a local company for the purposes of monitoring business opportunities, navigating import and standard testing regulations, and identifying public sector sales and contract opportunities. The U.S. Commercial Service in Brussels can advise U.S. companies on finding local partners.  



  • Ministry of Mobility:  Belgian federal ministry that is the equivalent of the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Ministry of Finance:  Belgian federal ministry.  The current Finance Minsters seeks to make the country’s mobility sector greener and has instituted tax reforms to bring about the “greening” of company car fleets.
  • BRUGEL:  Brussels energy regulator.
  • Flanders Department of Mobility and Public Works:  Regional government entity responsible for road, air, and water transport and infrastructure.
  • Walloon Minister of Climate, Energy, Infrastructure and Mobility
  • Minister of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region: responsible for Mobility, Public Works, & Road Safety
  • Flanders Agency for Roads and Traffic: A regional mobility and public works government entity that manages about 7,000 kilometers of regional roads and motorways in Flanders.
  • Fluvius: Brussels city grid operator.

Industry Associations:

  • Fédération de l’automobile et du cycle Belgian (Federation of the Automobile and Cycle Industry):  Belgium’s automotive industry federation.
  • European Association of Automotive Suppliers (CLEPA)
  • EV Belgium:  the representative federation involved in the development of the market for zero emission mobility in Belgium.
  • American Automotive Policy Council:  a trade group formed in 2009 by Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, and General Motors.
  • Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA):  U.S. industry association.



  • Audi Brussels:  manufacturer of EVs.
  • Avesta Battery and Energy Engineering (ABEE):  Belgian-based EV battery company.
  • Engie:  French energy company that will install and operate 2,800 public charging stations for electric vehicles in the Flemish provinces of Antwerp, Limburg, and West Flanders.
  • Galloo Recycling Group:  Belgian-based metal recycling company and accepts most types of scrap metal such as automobiles, cans, and other containers throughout Belgium and Northern France.
  • SPIE Belgium:  The Belgian subsidiary of the SPIE group, an independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications that is participating in a sustainable pilot project for Engie.
  • Umicore Rechargeable Battery Materials:  Belgian-based manufacturer of active cathode materials.
  • Van Hool:  a Belgian family-owned coachbuilder and manufacturer of buses, coaches, trolleybuses, and trailers that offers a range of 100 percent zero emission buses in 2022.
  • Volvo (Ghent):  manufacturer of EVs and EV batteries.
  • Wideye:  Belgian-based provider of glass solutions for 360° sensor integration for safe autonomous drive.

Trade Shows:

  • AAPEX Show; October 31 – November 2, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (a U.S. Department of Commerce-supported event)
  • SEMA Show; October 31 - November 3, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  • International CES; January 9-12, 2024; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
  • Automechanika; September 10-14, 2024; Frankfurt, Germany

For more information on the Belgian EV sector, contact Commercial Specialist Karel Vantomme at