Converting a car with a combustion engine to an electric car: from 1 June 2023 it is also legally permitted in Belgium. During the operation, the powertrain is removed and replaced with batteries and an electric motor. The new policy is expected to make way for many jobs and specialized retrofitting companies.
Not that it was impossible to have your car retrofitted before: it was actually especially difficult. To be allowed on the road with your car, you first had to homologate it abroad, and then re-import the vehicle to Belgium. The new Royal Decree puts an end to this Kafkaesque situation: from now on it is possible to have the car homologated in Belgium. By requesting a Conformity-of-Production audit (COP), the converter can demonstrate that the electrified car colors within the lines. An application would cost between 1,500 and 2,000 euros.
There are a number of caveats to the new legislation. For example, the law says that all vehicles, with the exception of agricultural vehicles, may have an electric motor. Customers do not have a free choice: the engine must meet a number of conditions.
For those who have a car with a capacity of 60 kW converted, the legislation is the mildest: there the capacity may increase by no less than 20%, to 72 kW. Those who exchange a more powerful motor for an electric one will not receive any extra kilowatts. In those cases, the engine may have a power between 65% and 100% of the original combustion engine.
Furthermore, the dimensions of the car must remain unchanged. The weight, which will be considerably higher thanks to batteries, may also increase by only 10% per axle. These restrictions will largely determine the action capability of retrofit vehicles.