Advertisement

Is Holland Europe's Test Case For Electric Cars?

 
Follow Antony

Amsterdam, the Netherlands [Image: Flickr user _dChris]

Amsterdam, the Netherlands [Image: Flickr user _dChris]

Enlarge Photo

Plug-in cars are catching on in the Netherlands, and it isn't hard to see why.

It's a relatively small country, with high gas prices, heavy taxes on gas-guzzlers, and particularly flat land--no range-sapping hills for short-range electric vehicles.

It's also largely pro-environmental, while cycling is a considered a widely-enjoyed method of transport, rather than simply a pastime.

When we drove the Toyota Yaris Hybrid there last year, we were struck by repeated sightings of Fisker Karmas and Opel Amperas (Chevy Volts)--they really do seem popular.

The country had respectable plug-in vehicle sales of 7,410 in 2012, from a population of under 17 million. Compare that to the U.S. plug-in total of around 52,000 cars, around seven times higher, from a population over eighteen times greater.

And, as The New York Times reports, charging posts by the side of the street are commonplace. All these factors are making the Netherlands something of a test bed for electric vehicles.

While not universally popular--those 7,000 sales still represented less than a percent of the country's total new vehicle sales--analysts predict sales of 15,000-20,000 per year in the country by 2015--a realistic estimate.

Some car companies are putting faith in the Netherlands' attitude towards electric vehicles, too.

Tesla's European distribution center, as well as assembly and servicing facilities, is based there. The facility will be central to Tesla's assault on Europe.

New driving taxes in the country proposed a few years back would be charged on a per-mile basis, which could also work in favor of customers choosing electric vehicles. 6 in 10 drivers were expected to save, and the sliding scale could prove much cheaper for plug-in cars.

Customers in the Netherlands are still overcoming some of the difficulties faced by many of those introduced to new plug-in cars, such as initial range anxiety.

The country's largely free charging network has made that less of a concern for some, and cars like the Karma and Volt overcome that anyway.

Largely though, the country is proving itself more suited than most to plug-in cars--and will be a focal point for the rest of Europe on how successful electric vehicles are over the next few years.

+++++++++++

Follow GreenCarReports on Facebook and Twitter.



Advertisement
 
Follow Us

 

Have an opinion?

  • Posting indicates you have read this site's Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
  • Notify me when there are more comments
Comments (4)
  1. I think Iceland would be the perfect test country for Electric Vehicles:
    1. Small country and an island - the cars are stuck on the island
    2. 100% of the electricity is green - produced from hydro and geo-thermal resources
    3. Cheapest electricity in the world
    4. Very high gasoline prices
    5. No import taxes or VAT on EVs - but high import taxes and 25.5% VAT on combustion engine cars

    Gisli
     
    Post Reply
    +1
    Bad stuff?

  2. Better Place has a taxi trial in Schiphol airport that will replace the usual gas-guzzlers roaming the route. That should give the Flunce ZE decent exposure
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  3. Norway is also a great example, with EVs amounting to 5.2% of new vehicle sales in 2012. A combination of aggressive tax exemptions and a well-developed charging infrastructure, plus privileges like free-parking, congestion charge exemptions and the right to use of bus lanes, make these vehicles very popular there. And the environmental benefits of large market uptake of EVs in Norway are even better than in most countries as 90% of their electricity comes from hydroelectric plants.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

  4. "The country's largely free charging network..." Unfortunately, this is not true anymore. From 2013 on, Dutch EV drivers must pay for charging at public charge points. The cost is around €0.28/kWh for regular charging, slightly more expensive than household electricity costs. This margin is to keep the network up and running.
     
    Post Reply
    Vote
    Bad stuff?

 

Have an opinion? Join the conversation!

Advertisement

Find Green Cars

Go!
Advertisement

Advertisement

 
© 2014 Green Car Reports. All Rights Reserved. Green Car Reports is published by High Gear Media. Send us feedback. Stock photography by Homestar, LLC.