Benefits and non-financial incentives are received by electric fleet owners after the purchase of vehicles and often continue throughout the time of ownership. They differ from financial purchase incentives received only at the time of purchase. Reoccurring incentives are received repeatedly throughout owning an EV, they can be financial in nature such as toll road fee exemptions. Non-financial incentives may or may not be received repeatedly during vehicle ownership, and can include incentives that are not financial in nature, for example being able to drive an EV in bus lanes.

Non-financial or reoccurring incentives may be funded by national, local, or regional government organisations; or by private companies (e.g. electric utilities). Such incentives include access to high-occupancy vehicle (HOV), bus, and transit lanes; the development of recharging infrastructure; parking incentives; and toll, or road fee waivers.

Access to High-occupancy vehicle, bus, and transit lanes

High-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes, bus lanes and fast transit lanes are all lanes with restricted access. HOV lanes are only accessible to vehicles with two or more occupants. The rules restricting their access are sometimes only in operation during peak travel times, in some regions they are in operation 24 h per day/7 days per week. HOV lanes are sometimes called carpool lanes or 2+lanes. Bus lanes are lanes that are usually only accessible to buses or coaches. Taxis, motorcycles or cyclists can often access the lanes. Some nations have ‘priority lanes’ or ‘fast transit lanes’ these lanes are often restricted or require payment to use. Some regions have introduced incentives that allow PEVs unlimited access to these lanes.

Parking incentives

Parking incentives include free or discounted parking in paid parking lots/garages. It can also include parking spaces reserved for EVs or parking spaces in preferential locations. In many cases, EV only parking spaces will also have electric vehicle charging.

Exemptions from road access fees

Toll charges are applied on roads, bridges, tunnels and boats that are either publicly or privately owned. Drivers are required to pay a fee to access them. The money is intended to help fund the construction and maintenance of the infrastructure. Some nations allow EVs to drive on these roads without paying the toll fee or give a discount for PEVs. Road charge zones, for example the London Congestion Charge, apply to larger areas often the entire central area of a city. For vehicles to enter anywhere inside this zone they must pay a fee. Some congestion charge zones have fee exemptions for EVs.

Gasoline price/taxes

Gasoline price increases are not always associated with tax increases or any policy intervention as gas price is also impacted by market forces. Some nations do have a progressive fuel tax, fuelduty or gasoline tax. These taxes are often not introduced to encourage consumers to purchase PEVs, their introduction is as ameasure to manage fuel consumption or emissions or to raise tax revenue.

Charging infrastructure

A number of governments support the installation of EV charging infrastructure. For instance, Estonia has helped to install a nationwide fast-charging EV network within its national electric car mobility system, ELMO, ensuring the presence of quick recharging points, 40–60 km apart, on all roads with dense traffic. All population centres with over 5 000 inhabitants are served. In Sweden, individuals who install a recharging point for an EV in their homes may get a tax reduction for the associated labour cost.

 Table 1 gives an overview these incentives with examples around Europe.

Table 1 Examples to non-financial incentives in Europe

Source: Table based on


  1. Hardman, S. (2019). Understanding the impact of reoccurring and non-financial incentives on plug-in electric vehicle adoption–a review. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 119, 1-14.
  3. Niestadt, M. and Bjørnåvold, A. (2019). Electric road vehicles in the European Union Trends, impacts and policies. EPRS | European Parliamentary Research Service.

Other related Material

  3. Münzel, C., Plötz, P., Sprei, F., & Gnann, T. (2019). How large is the effect of financial incentives on electric vehicle sales? – A global review and European analysis. Energy Economics84, 104493.
  4. Brückmann, G. M., & Bernauer, T. (2020). What drives public support for policies to enhance electric vehicle adoption? Environmental Research Letters.

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