Denmark may be open to financial incentives to buy electric cars after seeing a dramatic drop in sales of non-polluting vehicles, according to Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen.
“We have tax incentives for electric cars, and you could discuss if they should be bigger. I will not exclude that,” Rasmussen said in an interview in Copenhagen. Any new incentives would be announced along with a government plan to boost clean-energy consumption after the summer, he said.
Danish sales of electric vehicles have fallen dramatically — from nearly 5,000 in 2015 to around 700 in 2017 — since Rasmussen’s center-right government phased out subsidies such as those offered in Norway and Germany.
With diesel having fallen out of favor across Europe in the wake of the Volkswagen scandal, Denmark is now debating which vehicle types to promote and which to discourage.
The government has come under fire for its indiscriminate cuts to registration taxes, which have eroded incentives to buy green vehicles rather than those powered by fossil-fuels. Denmark has no car industry of its own and has one of the highest import duties in the world.
Adding to pressure on the government, the opposition Social Democrats grabbed the limelight last week by announcing plans to ban the sale of diesel vehicles by 2030, if they win elections due to be held by June 2019.