Philippe Henry, the Walloon Minister of Mobility, Energy, Climate and Infrastructure (Ecolo), was the guest of the morning of LN24 this Wednesday. The opportunity to take stock, among other things, of the progress of the electric car in the south of the country.
The 100th edition of the Auto Show, which has just ended, attracted more than 265,000 visitors. A crowd success for an edition that obviously gave pride of place to electric models.
However, at present, electric cars still represent only a tiny minority of the Belgian car fleet. In Wallonia, they are barely ten thousand out of just under two million vehicles, said Walloon Minister of Mobility Philippe Henry this Wednesday morning on LN24.
The announced end of heat engines
A starving figure which will logically increase in the years to come since from 2026, only electric company cars will benefit from a tax deduction in 2026. And let’s not forget that in just over ten years, no more new thermal engine car cannot be sold in the EU. In addition, manufacturers have obviously acted on the announced end of thermal to focus on electric and more accessible models will gradually be put on the market.
“We need to change our mobility and get used to driving less”
We will therefore have to go willy-nilly to electric. However, according to ecologist Philippe Henry, this is not a panacea. “The electric car is not the miracle solution” to guarantee greener mobility. “We need to implement a range of solutions, we need to change our mobility and get used to driving less in the car and (especially) less alone in the car”, underlines the minister. “But we are still going to keep a significant part of car travel and in this context, it is desirable to have more and more electric cars”, he added.
5,700 charging points by 2026
With regard to public charging stations, mapping work has been carried out to identify the best places to place them throughout Wallonia. It is then up to the municipalities, via the recovery plan, to install the terminals at the local level. A total of 1,324 sites have been identified. Wallonia has committed to having 5,700 charging points by 2026, including fast charging stations on motorways.
Philippe Henry assumed the vice-presidency of Irena
On January 14 and 15, Walloon Environment Minister Philippe Henry took part in the general assembly of the International Renewable Energy Agency (Irena) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, he said on Wednesday. on LN24. Belgium, which was represented there by the minister, held the vice-presidency.
“It’s a bit like the concrete counterpart of the Cop Climat for companies. It is the realization in the renewable part”, indicated Philippe Henry, who justified the holding of this assembly in a country famous for its production and consumption of fossil fuels. “These countries are also investing, and at the same time, in renewables and we can only underline this. What matters is that there is worldwide deployment (of renewables), also with them. And the Agency is located in Abu Dhabi, which is why the general meetings are held there.”
In its conclusions, Irena estimates that 131,000 billion dollars must be invested by 2050 so that the energy system is compatible with the trajectory of maintaining global warming at 1.5°C. 80% of this amount must go to energy transition technologies, the organization said in a press release published on the agency’s website.
In the Emirates, Philippe Henry also visited a solar tower developed by the John Cockerill company.