The Netherlands, despite its small size, is rich in culture, history, and beautiful sights.
The country is famous for its canals, colorful tulip fields, picturesque windmills, traditional clogs, a great variety of cheeses, and its bicycling culture.
The Netherlands is also one of the leading electric vehicle markets, both in Europe and globally.
This high rate of uptake, particularly of BEVs, is a testament to the progressive electric vehicle policies implemented over the past several years.
To drive the electrification of the national vehicle fleet, the Dutch government offers strong incentives to reduce the cost for buyers and owners of an electric vehicle.
This is especially true for BEVs, which are the focus of the government’s zero-emission transport strategy.
Individuals purchasing or leasing a new battery electric passenger car can claim back €4,000 from the government. In the case of a second-hand battery electric car, the amount is €2,000.
Conversely, purchasers and owners of conventional combustion engine vehicles are charged vehicle taxes that are particularly high in comparison to other European markets.
How do these policies affect the household budget of individuals who want to buy a new car?
Looking at the illustration below, one thing catches the eye: consumers get the best deal by buying a BEV instead of a comparable PHEV, gasoline, or diesel model.
This thanks to the €4,000 purchase bonus, waivers on registration and ownership tax, and relatively low consumption costs.
Taking VW’s ID.3 as an example, deducting the government bonus of €4,000 from the tax value (which results in a lower base price and value added tax than displayed in the car manufacturer’s price lists) makes it the cheapest alternative both at purchase and by 4-year ownership cost.
Gasoline and diesel cars face relatively high one-time registration taxes and annual taxes for vehicle ownership, adding up to several thousands of euros.
Compared to the gasoline version of the VW Golf, private buyers who pick the VW ID.3 BEV save €4,500 upon acquisition and €10,000 if keeping the car for 4 years.
If purchasers are not lucky enough to get the €4,000 one-time bonus, before the available funds are exhausted, the cost advantage still exists albeit reduced.
The Netherlands set an example by implementing strong incentive policies for electric vehicles, particularly BEVs, while setting disincentives in the form of significantly higher taxes for gasoline and particularly diesel cars.
These activities are flanked by additional actions. The Netherlands has the highest number of public charging points for electric vehicles and per 100 km2 in Europe.
Moreover, some Dutch city and municipal governments such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and The Hague provide free public charging points on request of private individuals and businesses where home and workplace charging is not feasible.
In addition, cities such as Amsterdam are aiming to have all traffic throughout the city emissions-free by 2030.
The government also aims to have a minimum of 30 cities implementing zero emission zones for urban logistics by 2025. Beyond policies, consumers can also choose from an increasing number of electric vehicle models for sale.
In 2020, if only looking at BEVs, over 60 different models were newly registered in the country.
The Netherlands is proof that national and local policies play a key role in driving electrification, and particularly the transition to BEVs. As a result, the country is on a good course to reach its 2030 target to only sell zero-emission new cars.
Source: The ICCCT. Reproduced with permission.