Around a third of the European Union member states do not offer any incentives for buying zero-emission commercial vehicles, according to a recent report by the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA). 

The trade body analysed the tax benefits and incentives for zero-emission vehicle acquisition and charging infrastructure in the EU, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and the UK.

The analysis shows that only six countries – Czechia, Spain, Sweden, Iceland, Switzerland, and Austria – offer charging/refuelling infrastructure incentives. In Spain, for instance, under the MOVES III scheme, self-employed, individuals, neighbouring communities, and administration receive 70% of the eligible cost. Spain also offers incentives of €7,000-9,000 ($7,524-9,673) for private individuals to buy vans.

The UK offers a 35% discount, capped at £2,500 ($3,177), for small vans, and up to £5,000 for large vans. For trucks, the country offers up to £16,000, Kallanish understands.

Several countries, including Norway, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, and Poland, among others, do not offer any such incentives for the purchase of the vehicles or for the installation of infrastructure. Meanwhile, four countries – Estonia, Hungary, the Netherlands, and the UK – offer no tax incentives. 

“A robust business case is essential for transport operators to switch to zero-emission trucks and buses,” states Thomas Fabian, chief commercial vehicles officer at ACEA. “In the early stages of the market development, incentives are important to accelerate fleet renewal, support investments and help optimise total cost of ownership.”

“More robust and targeted schemes that support operators of heavy-duty vehicles, greater EU-wide harmonisation and a strong focus on dedicated charging and refuelling infrastructure are an important part of the puzzle for getting more zero-emission trucks and buses on our roads,” Fabian adds.