What Can We Learn from The Netherlands About EV Adoption?

 In EV Industry

What can we learn from The Netherlands about EV adoption? Being the fifth-largest electric-vehicle market in the world, The Netherlands definitely has a few lessons to teach. With a comprehensive zero-emission taxation policy combined with rapidly developing plug-in cars infrastructure, EV market is booming, and it does not show any signs of stopping. As of 31 December 2017, there were 121,542 light-duty plug-in electric vehicles registered in the Netherlands. Last year alone a total of 9,897 entirely electric cars were sold in the country of tulips.

Ironically enough, the motherland of oil giant Shell proclaims to ban all of the new petrol- and diesel-powered cars by the year 2030. Holland still has a long way to go to achieve its emission-free mobility goals. Yet some successful EV adoption practices can be learned from the Netherlands already. Let’s take a look.

Cut that tax

The Netherlands offers a variety of incentives to ensure that plug-in vehicles get into Dutch driveways. One of the primary motivators on the way to zero-emission future is, of course, the vehicle taxation system. Rather than singling out plug-in vehicles, The Netherlands bases its mobility taxation on the amount of CO2 emission a particular car produces. Since EVs are emission-free, electric car owners in Holland save thousands of dollars on both registration tax and the road tax. Their fellow-drivers on hybrid vehicles save a penny (or should we say a euro-cent) too, as they get a graduate tax reduction as well.

Apparently, these tax incentives combined with other waivers such as free parking and charging in public places work. By the end of 2018, 15,000 all-electric zero emission cars expected to be sold in the Netherlands (that’s compared to 9,897  EV sold in 2017). Quick EV market development calls for fast infrastructure development and here is where public-private partnerships come into the picture.

Join the forces with Government, Private Businesses, and Educational Institutions

Residents of big Holland cities like Amsterdam or Rotterdam have grown accustomed to seeing charging points for EVs everywhere. However, the average country-wide number of charging stations per registered  EV is only approximately 1.1 to 1000. To boost these numbers The Dutch government, local businesses, and educational institutions have joined their forces in so-called Green-Deals (GD) approach.

The main idea behind GD is for the  Government to facilitate private projects by removing legislative barriers and connecting innovators together. Dutch Living Lab Smart Charging is one of the first most significant examples of public-private  EV partnerships in the Netherlands. Living Lab’s primary focus is to figure out the ways to charge EVs in a cost-effective and energy-efficient manner by using renewable solar and wind energy.

A hat tip to the Netherlands, because as of today, 325 municipalities have already entered the program, which represents over 80% of all public charging points. Go clean, or go home – this is how the Dutch think when it comes to charging their EVs.

On their way to clean mobility, the Netherlands involves not only the experts of EV industry but talented rookies as well. And these cooperations are now beginning to bear fruit. For example, recently the group of students of the Eindhoven University of Technology has created  Lina – the world’s first fully biodegradable car.

The Lina’s core, sandwiched between flax fiber composite sheets, and it is made entirely out of biodegradable resin derived from sugar beets. Not only is this construction completely recyclable, but it also gives Lina a strength similar to the glass fiber.

Another group of young Dutch inventors has completed a journey around the world in 80 days on plug-in motorcycles that they built themselves.

The Netherlands commitment to the development of EV sustainable projects is undeniable. The motherland of Shell and stroopwafel is also a poster child for how public-private partnerships can spur the EV industry growth.

Go Publicly Green

Where the Netherlands really score EV adoption points is their electric public transportation fleet. In 2016, Amsterdam won the prestigious Electric Vehicle Symposium & Exhibition E-Visionary Award as a city with the best vision on electric mobility. We genuinely think that the award is well deserved and here is why:

  • Dutch trains, subways, and trams are 100% electric, and they are entirely powered by clean wind energy.
  • The biggest zero-emission bus fleet in the world also lives in Holland. As of March 28, 2018, 100 brand new plug-in buses  started conquering  the roads of Schiphol Airport and the surrounding areas. The best part is, the e-buses are charged exclusively using a renewable windmills energy.
  • The first EV taxi service in Europe was “born and raised” in the Netherlands too. And as of 2021 local taxis plan to go 100% green.
  • And, of course, you just can’t talk about clean mobility in Holland without mentioning e-bikes. It would be a vast understatement to say that bikes are popular in Holland. E-bicycles are an indispensable element of the Netherlands public transportation system. Last year alone, the Dutch bicycle market upped 3.2% in comparison to the year 2017.  Among all the bike sales in 2017, e-bikes generated the most significant part of the growth, which is accounted to  294,000 units.

Knowing what we know now about the EV adoption in Holland, their goal to phase out all gas- and diesel-powered vehicles by the year 2030 does not seem so unrealistic anymore.

What can we learn from The Netherlands about EV adoption? The country of tulips and stroopwafels definitely provides a proof that the nationwide plug-in vehicles adoption can be fast, if governments, businesses and creative minds work together.

Sustainable global future is inevitable. Thank you for leading by example, the Netherlands!



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