The Supreme Court has endorsed the exclusion of the aid scheme for passenger cars, buses or coaches and vans or light trucks powered by gas from the Plan Moves, approved by the Government through a royal decree in February 2019, considering that they already have more favorable tax treatment.
This has been concluded by a judgment of the Third Section of the Contentious-Administrative Chamber, which dismisses the appeal of the Spanish Liquefied Gas Association against this royal decree, thus considering it adjusted to law.
The High Court concludes that the plan is “sufficiently” justified due to the market situation – with a comparison of the prices of LPG and Natural Gas light vehicles with those of traditional combustion – as well as the prioritization of technologies that contribute the most to decarbonisation and that have more difficulties in marketing.
That does not prevent, adds the sentence, that the questioned and excluded vehicles have certain tax advantages insofar as they are recognized as having a relevant role in the transition period towards a zero emission park.
In this sense, it highlights the favorable treatment that LPG has at the fiscal level with respect to the rest of fuels and clarifies that this fiscal support, in order to amortize the acquisition of the vehicle, is superior to the aid that could be granted under the aid program.
The Chamber recalls that the tax to be applied to LPG, according to the special tax law, amounts to 128.67 euros per 1,000 liters, compared to 527.3 euros for diesel and 653.58 euros for gasoline.
“It should be noted that energetically requires higher consumption in energy units than diesel and slightly higher than gasoline, but, due to the favorable tax treatment, the economic cost of fuel is competitive,” argues the judgment, which indicates a sale price of 15% to 25% less fuel per kilometer traveled compared to gasoline.
In addition, he assures that the fact of having given aid in previous plans, as the appellant argues, is not a reason to continue giving aid ‘sine die’: “By the very spirit of any public aid, these are aimed at encouraging those technologies that contribute for the purpose of the program and that they are in a market situation that, without aid, would hardly be commercialized. “
However, the plan did maintain the aid to heavy vehicles powered by LPG, for the contribution to the improvement of air quality that the use of LPG could have in heavy goods transport vehicles.
Lastly, he affirms that the purpose of the Moves program is to stop climate change and that LPG or Autogas “is not a technology that contributes significantly to the purpose of the program, which is the decarbonisation of transport”, although he acknowledges the contribution of this type of vehicles in the energy transition and to improve air quality.