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Guidelines on financial incentives: Promoting energy efficient vehicles

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"The Commission has long supported the development of clean and energy efficient vehicles. These guidelines, and the common framework proposed for financial incentives, will simultaneously help reduce CO2 emissions and increase demand for clean cars. Financial incentives from Member States are very powerful instruments to foster their market penetration. But to ensure a level playing field for business and have a significant effect on the market, we need a common framework."

The European Commission published today new guidelines on how Member States should use financial incentives to best increase demand for low CO2 emission vehicles.

Currently, rules on financial incentives differ across the EU, but a common framework could help facilitate the assembly of larger quantities of such vehicles, prompting lower prices for consumers. Incentives can be useful instruments to foster the low CO2 producing vehicle industry, but they can also create trade distortions.

To address this issue, mandatory principles under the guidelines include non-discrimination with regard to the origin of the vehicle, the respect of EU state aid and procurement rules, and building on best practices in this domain. Member States must consider these principles in order not to violate the EU Treaty provisions, while other principles are recommended (see below).

European Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani, responsible for Industry and Entrepreneurship, said: "The Commission has long supported the development of clean and energy efficient vehicles. These guidelines, and the common framework proposed for financial incentives, will simultaneously help reduce CO2 emissions and increase demand for clean cars. Financial incentives from Member States are very powerful instruments to foster their market penetration. But to ensure a level playing field for business and have a significant effect on the market, we need a common framework."

In order to further enhance the uptake of cleaner cars, today during the Formula 1 test days in Barcelona Vice-President Tajani also unveiled the Volar-e, one the most powerful electric cars ever made (for more information see MEMO/13/151).

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"The Commission has long supported the development of clean and energy efficient vehicles. These guidelines, and the common framework proposed for financial incentives, will simultaneously help reduce CO2 emissions and increase demand for clean cars. Financial incentives from Member States are very powerful instruments to foster their market penetration. But to ensure a level playing field for business and have a significant effect on the market, we need a common framework."

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