For years EV have constituted only a single digit percentage of the annual new car purchases in Denmark. This was partly due to uncertainty about how EV and EV-electricity would be taxed. In December 2020, a political agreement was reached and EV (and PHEV) now constitute 40% of new car sales. This measure is a positive example going towards the NECP revision, in particular the political agreement from December 2020:
– Reformed DK car taxes to primarily reflect CO2-emissions.
-Made fossil cars more expensive to own than EV
– Established certainty for EV car-owners until 2030 (the rising prices of fossil fuels in 2022 also helped, but the EV percentage of new car sales doubled even before 2022).
EV and PHEV combined account for nearly 40% of all new car sales in Denmark. In the first three months of 2023 EV alone counted for 30% of new car sales. This is a very positive development. Previously EV and PHEV together accounted for only a few percentage of new cars: 0,6% (2017); 2% (2018); 4% (2019); 16% (2020); 35% (2021); 38% (2022); 40% (Jan-Mar. 2023). For decades the Danish road transport sector has delivered no reductions but through the “mainstreaming” of EVs this can change. To achieve a successful CO2-reduction in this sector, three lacking elements should be addressed:
1 – Maintain high cost of fossil diesel and petrol. In 2020 DK-parliament agreed in principle to impose a uniform CO2-tax. A €100/ton CO2 tax has been imposed on industry in 2022. We are still awaiting a similar CO2-tax to be implemented for diesel and petrol. An additional fuel tax of €100/ton CO2 will increase fuel costs with about €0,25/liter, hopefully this will be sufficient to also incentivise owners of old cars to change to public transport or electric cars.
2 – Prevent the total number of cars from growing. Official predictions foresee that the total number of cars in Denmark will increase to 3.3 M. by 2030.
That is a 26% increase of the total number of cars in Denmark compared to 2020. If the Danish car population is allowed to grow at this rate the new EV will not replace fossil cars but be in addition to the fossil cars, and no actual CO2-reduction will be achieved.
3 – Prevent continued growth of hybrid cars (PHEV). A major error of the DK EV tax is that it treats PHEV as equal to EV. The EV/PHEV tax-rebate was partly financed by the EU via the Danish Recovery Plan. However, PHEV-cars are not green. PHEV are not considered sustainable under the EU taxonomy and should therefore never have received RRP-support.