The BEO calls in its 5-point program u.a. the expansion of the private charging infrastructure, the abolition of VAT on new purchases and a simplification of cross-border charging. (© BEO) Austria is one of the pioneers of e-mobility in Europe – also thanks to various funding initiatives. "In order to make electric mobility fully suitable for the mass market, we now have to eliminate the legal hurdles and tackle urgently needed framework conditions as quickly as possible," explains Ute Teufelberger, chairwoman of the Federal Association for Electromobility Austria (BEO), representing eleven large energy companies in the state.
The BEO-five-point program includes concrete measures to achieve Austrian climate and energy targets and, moreover, to prepare the ground for the expected market upturn. "E-mobility is the sustainable way for the desired mobility turnaround", so Ute Teufelberger. The BEO and its member companies appeal to the future federal government, the following to implement five measures as quickly as possible:
- Simplify loading at home: The BEO is in favor of amending the housing law in order to simplify home-based shopping. Currently, legal hurdles hamper the expansion of charging infrastructure in residential buildings. "In order to achieve the climate goals, according to a recent study by the AIT (Austrian Institute of Technology), there would have to be a daily 360 charging options," says Teufelberger. Furthermore, the BEO recommends nationwide uniform subsidies for investments in the charging infrastructure in existing housing complexes as well as for e-mobility checks; Similar investment incentives already exist in Lower Austria and Vorarlberg. "Hundreds of thousands of e-vehicles could thus be loaded with the widest possible use of the existing network infrastructure," says the BEO chairman.
- Exemption from VAT: In order for e-cars to become attractive to the broader market, the changeover must also be financially rewarding. Therefore, the BEO recommends a VAT exemption for new purchases of an electric car to compensate for the sometimes very large price differences between a gasoline engine and an electric vehicle. It is proposed to waive the value added tax up to 20 percent of the annual multi-lane vehicle registrations or until 31/12/2024 and to continue the purchase premium in the future as well. Another BEO requirement is the adjustment of the commuter allowance. "In addition to public transport, driving with an emission-free vehicle to work must have added value compared to those with a conventional drive," says Teufelberger. In addition, the exemption for e-vehicles is an important measure to increase the share of e-vehicles in new registrations – currently 2.8 percent. This relates in particular to company vehicles and brings savings for employees and employers. Also a reduction of the toll for electric vehicles up to 3.5 tons is worthy of welcome.
- Standardize calibration law: The BEO calls for an EU-wide, uniform system for collecting charging data. "Since Austria already plays a pioneering role in the expansion of infrastructure with around 5,500 public charging points, we need to safeguard our existing assets," explains BEO Chairman Teufelberger. Stock protection is a basic prerequisite for investments of millions in energy companies' charging infrastructure and digitization. "This is accompanied by the demand for planning security, in particular the existing hardware (charging stations) as well as forward-looking regulation," says Teufelberger.
- To facilitate cross-border loading: Another point concerns the simplification of cross-border payment (e-roaming). Here the BEO chair recommends a swift legal adjustment of the VAT law at EU level. "The goal must be to apply the MOSS regulation (mini-one-stop-shop) to e-roaming revenues of e-mobility providers," says Teufelberger. The current scheme provides that every e-roaming provider in the country in which they provide services must register for tax purposes and make a VAT return. "We urgently need a quick simplification here."
- Electrification of bus and delivery traffic: This requirement is in line with a recent directive of the European Parliament and provides that contracting authorities are required by law to pay attention to the energy and environmental impact of vehicles when new road vehicles are purchased. "According to BEO, the staggered minimum targets for light and heavy commercial vehicles (including e-trucks over 3.5 tonnes) should be exceeded by 2030 by the year 2030," emphasizes Teufelberger. The switch to e-vehicles also has to become more attractive for the taxi and rental car industry. In this respect, the BEO recommends promoting the expansion of the charging infrastructure, especially in urban areas.
Appeal to the future federal government
With the "5-point program for electromobility" the BEO is committed to the climate and energy goals of the country. "We appeal to the future Federal Government to continue the successful path of promoting e-mobility as an important climate protection measure," concludes BEO Chairman Ute Teufelberger.