If we take a look at a tiny corner of Northern Europe, we’ll find the Netherlands, a small area with a history of high fuel prices and a long tradition of environmentalism. The perfect breeding ground for green vehicles, one would expect, and Holland in the Western Netherlands is doing much to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles.
Of course, electric vehicles in the Netherlands started small, but has grown by leaps and bounds. In 2011, there were maybe a handful of electric vehicles and charging stations, but this number increased nearly 800% to about 7,500 electric vehicles in an area of about 16,000mi2. This isn’t an impressive overall number, but certainly an impressive growth.
Holland isn’t taking it easy and just allowing electric vehicles to come in, but are heavily incentivizing both electric vehicles and the infrastructure to support them. Holland is expanding the grid of charging stations from the cities into the suburbs and along highways. Tax incentives and promotional pricing are attracting many buyers, and one perk that you’ll find is, at least in Amsterdam, free street parking and electric vehicle charging.
Tesla Motors has been trying something on a company level, where US and State governments have been somewhat lax, offering free superchargers for any Tesla Model S owner. Free charging is one thing, and Tesla plans on having the Supercharger Network across the entire US and parts of Southern Canada in the next few years. Some of these will be at least partially solar-powered, making charging, not only free, but clean as well.
I think this is really impressive. Within a year Holland went from having a handful of electric vehicles to having 7,500 and then on top of that there are a lot of incentives to do it. Way to go Holland.
Now, the Netherlands need to increase their use of renewable energy, which was only ≈10% in 2009, to clean up electric vehicle charging. They’re on the right track!