An eco-friendly company car?

Look, compare and decide

An eco-friendly company car?

Look, compare and decide

Planning to lease or hire a company car? Or would you rather buy a company car with an investment loan? Great! But which type? Electric, CNG or plug-in hybrid? We compare the benefits and drawbacks, and tell you all you need to know about the taxes. Check them out, weight them up and decide.

Discover the pros and cons of each engine type

100% electric car: around town and short distances

How does it work?

Want to drive virtually 100% environmentally friendly? If so, an electric car is an obvious choice. The principle is straightforward: a battery, one or two electric motors and a drive system. Vehicles like this don’t have gears or a gearbox: you just step on the accelerator and away you go.

Benefits

  1. It emits no CO2, drives silently, consumes less and is cheaper to service because there are no engine maintenance costs.
  2. Because you don't have a gear box, you use your motor's full power when pulling away and have smooth acceleration.
  3. Charging your battery costs less than filling up with diesel or petrol.
  4. In Flanders, you don't pay any road tax to drive your car. In Brussels and Wallonia, you pay tax at the minimum rate.
  5. If you've got solar panels and generate more electricity than your household uses, you drive for free.

Drawbacks

  1. Electric cars are still quite a bit more expensive than other models in the same class. That's because of the cost of the battery.
  2. The faster you drive, the greater the demand that is placed on the motor and the lower the distance you can cover.
  3. Belgium still has far too few charging stations, though the government is hard at work extending the network. If you regularly motor long distances, you have to know ahead of time where you can pull in to charge the battery in your car. Locate charging stations near you or along your route.

What is the cost per kilometre of an electric car?

If you take account of the cost of the car and the cost of charging the batteries, the price per kilometre is then higher than for cars with an internal combustion engine.

Most models have an electric motoring range of between 150 and 200 km before you need to get home or find an EV charging station. If you're prepared to move up to a higher price class, you'll find vehicles with a range of 300 to 500 km.

What is the charging time for an electric car?

A complete charge at home can easily take three to five hours for smaller models and seven to ten hours for bigger cards. The speed with which you can charge your battery whilst on the road depends on the rating of the EV charging station. The higher the rating, the shorter the charging session.

  • A charging station up to 11 kW will charge you at normal speed. It'll take at least two hours to fill up.
  • A station rated at up to 22 kW will charge you up faster. It'll take a minimum of one hour to charge the car.
  • A fast-charge station rated at 50 kW will charge your battery 80% in 15 to 30 minutes.

Note: not every electric car can be hooked up to a fast-charge station. Enquire with the seller whether your car's battery is suitable for DC fast-charge stations.

Why hire or lease a battery?

Some electric vehicles are sold without a battery, which you then lease or hire. The cost of hire can be fixed or calculated based on the term of your rental contract and the mileage you drive each year.

Electric batteries cost several thousands of euros and still won't last a lifetime. The benefits of hiring? You never have to replace your battery and the cost alone won't prompt you to consider buying a new car.

Electric cars with range extender: for longer journeys

How does it work?

Some electric cars are fitted with a range extender. This is actually a small combustion engine to replenish the battery when you’re short on charge. It is still the electric motor that powers the car itself.

Benefits

  1. A range extender lets you motor farther on electric than with a purely electric car.
  2. That’s handy if you need to cover longer distances but still want to drive electric. You'll need to fill up with diesel or petrol occasionally to keep your range extender at the ready.

Drawbacks

  1. An electric car with a range extender is less environmentally friendly than its electric cousin owing to the extra internal combustion engine.
  2. You also carry extra weight, which eats into your autonomy and makes your car less dynamic.
  3. An electric car with a range extender is actually a plug-in hybrid. You pay the same vehicle registration tax and road tax.

Plug-in hybrid: compromise between green and range

How does it work?

Like a fully hybrid car, a plug-in hybrid combines a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. The difference is that the battery of a plug-in hybrid is bigger than that of a ‘traditional’ hybrid and that you charge it from the mains, which increases the range to between twenty and sixty kilometres. You can charge your car using a domestic power outlet or an adapted one that can deliver more power.

Benefits

  1. A plug-in hybrid uses a diesel or petrol engine plus an electric motor. You can charge the battery at home or work from a regular socket.
  2. If you often motor in town or mainly do short distances, a plug-in hybrid is certainly worth considering. On short journeys and in built-up areas, you use very little, if anything at all.
  3. The combination of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor means your range is as far as with a petrol or diesel engine vehicle.
  4. The Flemish government is currently encouraging people to buy plug-in hybrids: until the end of 2020, you pay no vehicle registration tax or road tax.

Drawbacks

  1. Even plug-in hybrids are expensive to buy.
  2. The large battery takes up a lot of space and makes the vehicle heavier.
  3. The range when using electric power only is still fairly limited: between 20 and 50 km.
  4. Maximum speed while driving electric is low: usually no more than 50 kph.
  5. And, of course, it's not so good for the environment.

CNG car: for eco-friendly long-distance drivers

How does it work?

CNG stands for compressed natural gas. It differs in this respect from LPG, which is a by-product of diesel and petrol. You can refuel with CNG using a slow-fill or fast-fill system. Slow-fill works via a small compressor connected to your domestic gas supply. It takes several hours to fill your tank. To use the fast-fill system, you need to go to a CNG station, where you can fill up as quickly as at a traditional petrol station.

Benefits

  1. A CNG car emits 90% less fine particles and 30% less CO2 than a diesel or petrol car. Natural gas is also 20 to 30% less expensive than diesel and up to 40% cheaper than petrol.
  2. You fill up as fast as petrol or diesel, which is much faster than electric cars. The CNG tank is in the floor of your car, so you don't lose any room in the boot.
  3. Different makes combine CNG with petrol, which means you can keep driving when your CNG tank is empty. If you want to drive even more eco-friendly, you can fill your tank with biogas. And just as with plug-in hybrids, you'll pay no vehicle registration tax or road tax in Flanders until the end of 2020.

Drawbacks

  1. A CNG car is more expensive to buy than a petrol car, but often cheaper than its diesel or electric equivalents.
  2. The CNG tank is heavy and quite large. That affects your driving range. At the moment, there aren't yet many fuel stations in Belgium where you can fill up with natural gas: approximately 100. Find a CNG fuel station near you.
  3. You can have your diesel or petrol car converted into a CNG car. However, the price tag is between 2 000 and 4 000 euros, if not more. Only a qualified installer may carry out such a conversion. Throughout Belgium, there are about 15 of them. View the list.

On average, how far do you drive purely on electricity or natural gas?

 

Up to 5 km

Up to 50 km

Up to 300 km

Up to 500 km

Plug-in hybrid

   
Electric


 
Range extender



CNG
Plug-in hybrid Up to 50 km
Electric Up to 300 km
Range extender Up to 500 km
CNG Up to 500 km

How you drive determines your advantage

Is an environmentally friendly car more advantageous than a diesel or petrol car? Or isn't it? It all depends on how you drive.

What's your annual mileage? How long are you going to keep the car? Is your driving style economical or sporty? The Flemish government's milieuvriendelijkevoertuigen.be website lets you compare electric, plug-in hybrid and CNG cars with equivalent internal combustion models.

You can see straight away how much the basic model will cost you. It gives you details of how much you save with a green car. Or how much extra you have to fork out. Do the maths.

  2017, 2018, 2019 2020
List price < 31 000 euros 4 000 euros 4 000 euros
List price 31 000 – 41 000 euros 3 500 euros 3 500 euros
List price 41 000 – 61 000 euros 2 500 euros 2 000 euros
List price > 61 000 euros 2 000 euros 1 000 euros

Tax

Liability to vehicle registration tax (BIV/TMC) and annual road tax.

Flanders

  Vehicle Registration Tax Road tax
100% electric car Exempt Exempt

Plug-in hybrid

Exempt until 31 December 2020
Conditions:

  • Can be charged using regular socket
  • CO2 emissions < 50 g/km

Exempt until 31 December 2020
Conditions:

  • Can be charged using regular socket
  • CO2 emissions < 50 g/km
CNG car Exempt until 31 December 2020 Exempt until 31 December 2020
100% hydrogen Exempt Exempt

Brussels

  Vehicle Registration Tax Road tax
100% electric car Minimum rate of 61.50 euros Minimum rate of 77.35 euros
Plug-in hybrid Based on fiscal horsepower (power rating) Based on fiscal horsepower (power rating)
CNG car Based on fiscal horsepower (power rating) Based on fiscal horsepower (power rating)

Wallonia

  Vehicle Registration Tax Road tax
100% electric car Minimum rate of 61.50 euros Minimum rate of 77.35 euros
Plug-in hybrid
  • Based on fiscal horsepower (power rating)
  • Ecological harm tax for CO2 emissions > 145 g/km

Based on fiscal horsepower (power rating)

CNG car
  • Based on fiscal horsepower (power rating)
  • Ecological harm tax for CO2 emissions > 145 g/km
Based on fiscal horsepower (power rating)

Loans for electric, plug-in hybrid or CNG cars

Electric, CNG or plug-in hybrid: for an ecological car, you still have to cough up more than for a diesel or petrol engine car.

Depending on your needs, KBC has solutions for you to finance your car fleet. And each option also has its own specific benefits.

Compare the financing options available
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