Thanks to the environmental investment allowance (MIA), small emission-free taxi buses have become more competitive than the diesel variant. It is therefore an effective scheme, although the provision of information can still be improved. Entrepreneurs also see the link between the amount of the benefit and the profitability of their company as a bottleneck.

These are some of the conclusions from the study ‘MIA scheme for electric taxis and passenger buses’ from CE Delft. It was commissioned by the Ministry of Finance, which wanted to know the effect of the subsidy scheme that was introduced on 1 January 2020.

Average benefit per vehicle Since the environmental investment deduction has been introduced, taxi operators have achieved an average net benefit of between 2.250 and 2.600 euros on the purchase of an emission-free passenger car taxi. For zero-emission taxi buses, the average benefit since 2020 was between 3.55 and 3.800 euros. In 2020 a total of 336 emission-free passenger car taxis and taxi buses have been purchased for which an environmental investment allowance has been granted. It concerns 55 passenger car taxis and 55 taxi buses.

Figures from another RVO survey show that in 2020 a total of 800 new taxis have come on the market, of which such 600 were emission-free. Of those 600 emission-free taxis 55 percent was purchased with the support of an environmental subsidy.

Make fiscally attractive Simultaneously with the abolition of the BPM refund for taxis and public transport, the MIA scheme came into effect in January 2020. With this, the ministry wanted to make the purchase of zero-emission taxis and taxi buses more attractive from a tax point of view in order to encourage entrepreneurs to switch to cleaner vehicles. After all, it has been agreed in the Administrative Agreement for Zero Emission Target Group Transport (BAZED) that all parties involved will strive to ensure that taxi transport is completely emission-free from 1 January 2020 at the latest. The cabinet has agreed with the taxi industry and the municipalities involved that new taxis will be emission-free in those municipalities from 2020 onwards.

Following questions from During the discussion of the Tax Plan 2020, MPs Van Weyenberg and Omzigt promised the then State Secretary of Finance to monitor the supply of zero-emission taxis. That is why the ministry has had research carried out by CE Delft.

Coupling with profitability disadvantage Looking at the entire lifespan of a vehicle (the so-called Total Cost of Ownership), small emission-free taxi buses have become more competitive than a diesel vehicle thanks to the MIA scheme, the researchers conclude. This was already the case for small emission-free passenger car taxis without an environmental investment allowance.

In the study, interviews were also held with taxi entrepreneurs. This shows that carriers are happy with MIA, but that the scheme was not decisive in opting for an emission-free car or bus. They do mention as a disadvantage that the payment of the MIA depends on the profitability of their company. And that profitability has been under considerable pressure due to the corona crisis since the introduction of the scheme. Entrepreneurs would rather have a scheme where they know in advance what subsidy amount they can count on. The researchers therefore believe that the ministry should look into whether another arrangement cannot be made that does not depend on the operating result.

Another bottleneck mentioned by the entrepreneurs surveyed is the low range of several zero-emission taxi buses that are suitable for wheelchairs in 2020. This was often too low to really use the vehicles in practice. Meanwhile, the supply of suitable wheelchair buses has increased. They generally also have a larger radius of action.

Information provision In their recommendations, the researchers point out that the provision of information about the scheme is better can. They think that the scheme will be more effective if entrepreneurs get more clarity about the maximum amount that can be applied for. One option is to adjust the application forms.

In a letter to the House of Representatives, State Secretary Marnix van Rij of Finance calls the MIA scheme effective. Some of the researchers’ recommendations have already been adopted, he writes. For example, the application forms have been clarified, as well as the information on the website.

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