What is Electrify.brussels, how to install a charging station, how to charge your vehicle, ...? Check out our FAQ to quickly get the answer to your questions!
Electrify.brussels is the name of the plan to install a network of electric vehicle charging points in Brussels that will be available for everyone to use. To find out more, download the electrify.brussels roll-out plan.
Electric vehicles are no more polluting than petrol vehicles, even when battery production is taken into account. Motorized transport, whether powered by a combustion engine or electrically powered, has a significant environmental impact. This is why people in Brussels are advised to walk, cycle and use public transport whenever possible, and only use a car when really necessary. Life cycle assessment studies on which environmental impact reports are based, show that electric vehicles, even factoring in battery production, are better than vehicles powered by conventional fuel engines in terms of both air quality and greenhouse gas emissions.
About installing chargers
Do I need an environmental permit? (permis d’environnement)
You don’t need an environmental permit to install a charging point if you own a single-family property.
Can I use any type of charger with any vehicle?
Not all electric vehicles are compatible with all chargers. Hybrid vehicles, in particular, charge at a lower current. Please check your manufacturer’s instructions.
I don’t have a private parking space. Can I request to have a public charging point installed near my home?
We’re currently developing a Brussels-wide network of public charging points. The electrify.brussels plan is to install more charging points around the city so that, from 2024, no home is more than 150 m from a charging point. The locations of the charging points will be decided by the Region (Brussels Mobility and Brussels Environment, with the help of independent experts of the VUB), Sibelga and the municipalities. They will be chosen on the basis of a pre-defined set of criteria, drawn up to ensure we meet everybody’s needs. It won’t be possible to apply for a public charger to be installed in a particular place, but local residents can still tell us where charging points are most needed via the “Tell us where a charger is needed” form.
Is there any financial support for people installing a charger?
In Belgium, you’ll get an income tax discount when you install a charging point at your residence. Regional grants are also available for professionals.
I have a parking space in an apartment building. What are my rights/obligations?
The law on apartment buildings (Law of 18 June 2018 amending Article 577-2 §10 of the Belgian Civil Code) establishes a sort of “right to plug in”. This allows any of the owners within an apartment building to make changes to common areas, and therefore to install a charger (at their own expense) provided that they meet certain conditions, such as giving the management company or owners’ association two months’ notice by registered mail.
What is the law on installing charging points?
Here are the different texts that govern the legal framework for e-vehicles charging points:
- Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure
- Directive (EU) 2018/844 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy performance of buildings and Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency
- Directive (EU) 2019/944 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 June 2019 on common rules for the internal market for electricity and amending Directive 2012/27/EU
- Order of 19 July 2001 on the organisation of the electricity market in the Brussels-Capital Region
- Decree of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region of 28 March 2019 on implementing measures for the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure
- Decree of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region of 25 February 2021 setting the general and specific conditions for operating car parks
- Decree of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region of 3 November 2022 setting the ratios of recharging points for car parks, as well as certain additional safety conditions applicable thereto
What are the options for installing charging points in apartment buildings?
There are several options, each with its advantages and disadvantages. For more information, please visit the "Installing a charger in an apartment building” page.
- Individual option: each resident connects their charger to their own electricity meter.
- Collective option for the building’s electrical network: the owners’ association pays to upgrade the wiring, connect it to the grid, etc. Each resident can then install a charger in their parking space if they wish. Residents pay for the installation by themselves. All chargers would be managed collectively behind the area of the condominium.
- Collective option for the building’s electrical system and for installing the chargers: the owners’ association pays for the entire system (wiring, grid connection and chargers). Each resident has their charging point. However, all chargers have the same supplier and are managed collectively behind the area of the condominium..
- Collective and shared option: the owners’ association provides a number of chargers that can be used by all residents. Residents do not have their own charging point.
Do I need an environmental permit?
If your apartment is in a building with fewer than 10 parking spaces, you don’t need an environmental permit. However, if your building has 10 or more parking spaces, you must comply with the laws on environmental permits.
Find out more in our guide to installing a charger in an apartment building.
What are the safety conditions for car parks that require an environmental permit?
Firstly, the charging points must be suitable for charging electric vehicles. The electrical system must be sufficiently powerful and must have been inspected by an approved entity in accordance with the RGIE (general regulation on electrical technical installations). The other measures depend on whether your car park is indoors or outdoors, and whether or not it has an automatic fire detection system. In all cases, it must have a ventilation system that change the air in charging areas every three hours, and a 6 kg (minimum) extinguisher. To find out more, please see our “Installing a charger at an apartment building” page and the articles 6-7-8 of the Decree of the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region of 3 November 2022.
Do garages count as indoor or outdoor parking spaces?
Garages aren’t considered to be indoor car parks, and in fact count as outdoor car parks (uncovered). The decree that sets out the general operating conditions that apply to car parks stipulates that an uncovered car park is one without a roof or is a set of garages that are accessed individually via an uncovered manoeuvring area.
Who should check the fire safety systems?
When you install a charging point, you must comply with the law on fire safety in car parks. However, there is no need to have the fire safety system checked by an external entity. The fire department will check all fire prevention systems when a new environmental (car park) permit is issued or when a permit needs to be renewed.
What financial support is available for installing charging points in apartment buildings?
In Belgium, tax discounts are available when you install a charging point at your home or at work. Regional grants are also available for professionals.
Find out more about the financial support that is available.
Are the requirements imposed by the fire brigade too strict to allow charging points to be installed inside the underground car parks of buildings?
The applicable legislation has recently changed and now allows for charging posts to be installed in all apartment buildings. Check out the "Guide to installing charging points in apartment buildings" for full details.
About charging at public charging points
Charging points are for electric cars only. They aren’t suitable for bikes or other electric means of transport (scooters, etc.).
Be aware that not all vehicles can use the same electric chargers. Hybrid vehicles, in particular, charge at a lower current.
In the case of public charging points, you’ll need to contact the company that operates the charger. You can usually find their details somewhere on the charger.
There are two options:
- You can use the RFID card that you’ll be sent by your charging service provider, who will bill you for the amount of electricity you use.
- If you don’t have a charging service provider, use your smartphone to scan the QR code on the charger, then follow the instructions.
TotalEnergies and EnergyDrive charging points accept RFID cards from all the main charging service providers.
At the moment, the following tariffs apply with both of the public charger operators:
- TotalEnergies: €0.64 per kWh (prices may vary), with a minimum of 10 kWh per charging session;
- EnergyDrive: €0.37 per kWh (prices may vary), with a minimum of 5 kWh per charging session.
Remember that your MSP may also charge additional costs on top of this.
If you don’t have a subscription with a charging service provider and you’re using your smartphone to scan the QR code on the charger, the following tariffs apply:
- TotalEnergies: €0.64per kWh (prices may vary), with a minimum of 10 kWh per charging session;
- EnergyDrive: €0.37 per kWh (prices may vary), with a minimum of 5 kWh per charging session.
If your car consumes an average of 15 kWh per 100 kilometres, you’ll pay around €5,55 with EnergyDrive and €9,60 with TotalEnergies, as well as any fees that your MSP (supplier) charges.
For private charging, the price depends on the electricity contract agreed with the supplier. For normal public charging, the price depends on the supplier of the charging point. This is slightly higher than for private charging. Brussels currently has 2 suppliers who apply the following prices: TotalEnergies: 0.71 €/kWh / EnergyDrive: 0.49 €/kWh.
With a 7.4 kW charger, most electric vehicles will get at least 20 km of range with 30 minutes of charging. The charging points in the Brussels charging network have a power rating of between 7.4 kW and 11 kW.
On average, a vehicle remains stationary 95% of the time. Recharging the battery overnight is therefore recommended for standard daily use of the vehicle. For faster recharging, use the public fast-charging points (see map "Where to recharge" and enable the "fast-charging points" and "ultra-fast charging points" filters). These charging points can charge about 80% of the battery in 30 minutes but they are more expensive than normal charging points.
At present, there are more charging points in Flanders because the number of electric vehicles is higher there than in Brussels. Electrify.brussels is planning to put 22,000 charging points in place by 2035.
About charging at private chargers
You have several options. You could contact an electrician, a company that specialises in installing charging points, or your car dealership. Some energy suppliers also install EV chargers.
Yes, under certain circumstances you can get a discount on your income tax for the cost of installing a charger between 1 September 2021 and 31 August 2024 (inclusive). The discount varies from 45% to 15% of the cost (with a maximum discount of €1500) depending on the year in which you paid.
A fast or rapid charger requires a three-phase 400V connection with a neutral circuit. If you’re on a 230V network, you can still charge at these speeds by installing an autotransformer. To do so, you’ll need a three-phase 230V system. However, fast and rapid chargers aren’t recommended for domestic use as they’re much more expensive (mainly because of the cost of connecting them to the grid). And unless you’re doing several hundred kilometres each day, a normal charger is powerful enough to meet your needs.
Under current legislation (see Articles 7.2 and 7.3 of the Highway Code), you aren’t allowed to charge an electric vehicle by running a cable over the pavement from your home to the vehicle. Besides being an electrical hazard, running a cable over the pavement makes the pavement less accessible and less safe for other users (it could cause pedestrians, scooter riders and people with reduced mobility to trip), and clutters the public space.
Furthermore, the legislation governing the electricity market in the Brussels-Capital Region (see Article 29, §2 of the order of 19 July 2001) stipulates that only Sibelga has the right to maintain, replace and lay electricity cables in the public space.
No, a standard electrical outlet (15-20 amps) is not designed to deliver the kind of power required to charge a car battery for hours on end. Beware of the fire hazard!
For your electrical installation to be compliant, you should at least ask an electrician to install a separate circuit to charge your vehicle. It is imperative that this circuit delivers the required power and is duly protected to avoid the risk of fire. For full details on how to install a charging point, check out our installation guides.
Based on the data that is currently available, neither the fire load nor the fire risk of parked vehicles appears to be higher for electric or hybrid vehicles than for modern internal combustion engine vehicles. It is however assumed that the fire risk to electric or hybrid vehicles is slightly higher when charging.
Vehicles and batteries: the lithium-ion batteries used in electric and hybrid vehicles come with a risk known as “thermal runaway”, which can potentially cause the vehicle to catch fire. The vehicle’s battery management system is designed to prevent this, but it isn’t foolproof. Real-time detection is crucial for preventing thermal runaway.
Charging infrastructure: the main risks does not concern cars but electrical installations. This is why it’s important to regularly test, maintain and inspect chargers to ensure that they comply with safety requirements. The RGIE (general regulation on electrical technical installations) lists the regulatory safety requirements for electrical installations. It is obligatory to comply with this regulation. Doing so significantly reduces the fire risk.