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Global EV Transportation Review

Key Regional Markets

The Netherlands

Netherlands ranks among the top electric vehicle markets in Europe and globally. The Dutch market is gradually inching closer to the government objective of selling only zero- emission vehicles by 2030. As with most of the mature markets, the policy authorities are gradually scaling back the subsidies. It may have a short-term impact on the sales. At the same time, the requirement of charging points is enormous, even with the progress achieved sofar.

GDP (Current Prices) USD (2021)

1,013.52 bn

GDP Growth Forecast (constant prices) (2021-2025)


EV Penetration

34.8% of the total new passenger vehicle sales by 2022

EV Target

50% of all new passenger vehicles sold will have an electric powertrain and a plug by 2025

Planned Year of Phasing Out ICE Vehicles

GDP Source: IMF, World Economic Outlook

EV Penetration and Trend

Source: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

Netherlands’ electric vehicle penetration, in terms of the share in new vehicle sales, is among the best worldwide. Much of the growth in this market has been subsidy-led, due to the policy focus on zero- emission transportation by 2030. But subsidy may have also been the reason for a decline in the sales of battery electric vehicles in 2021. During the year, not only was the subsidy quantum lower (than the previous year) but it was exhausted faster. The plug-in hybrid vehicles apparently gained share in that period. The Dutch definition of zero- emission vehicles also includes the fuel-cell vehicles though the share is negligible so far.

Source: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

The nearly four-fold rise is sales between 2018 and 2022, while impressive, is still far from making a dent in Dutch passenger vehicle fleet. By the end of 2022, electric vehicles constituted about 6% of the fleet size. In 2018 the same was at 3%. Progressively, as the market deepens (rising product variety and a developed second-hand vehicle segment), one can expect further improvement in the fleet size. It is also pertinent that the Dutch market does not have any ban imposed on future sales of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. It is thus left for the interplay of market forces to determine the contours of the progression of the electric vehicle market.

Source: Netherlands Enterprise Agency
Note: The data refers to trend in total fleet size. Each year’s data point is the cumulative total, after netting for new registrations, used-vehicle imports, transfers, or exports, loss from theft, etc.

Growth has also been strong in the commercial sub-segment. By the end of 2022, the Dutch electric bus fleet contributed 16.5% in the total, registering a sharp improvement over the 4.2% in 2018. Almost all of the Dutch electric bus fleet is based on battery electric drivetrain. A stronger base of growth is expected with focused efforts underway for charging systems tailored for the commercial transportation.

Charging Infrastructure

Source: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

The country’s electric vehicle charging network base ranks among the top in the European Union, for its coverage. As the trend shows, the growth has been sharp. Between 2018 and 2022, the total number of publicly accessible charging points registered a compound annual growth rate of 35%. Such charging points are important in the Dutch system due to the preference for publicly accessible facilities in the transportation system. However, private charging points have grown at a faster clip. By the end of 2022, there were an estimated 345,000 private charging points – more than double the level in 2020.

The growth in charging network has been entirely led by the slow or regular chargers of low power ratings. The share of fast-chargers (greater than 22kW rating) is largely stagnant at around 3% in the five-year trend to 2022. So far, such a skew has not impacted significantly as adequate coverage took precedence over the efficiency. This is the reason why Netherlands might rank low in the availability of fast-charging points but fares better when it comes to the network density. As of 2022, each charging point supported about four electric vehicles (including battery and plug-in). This ratio is regarded as among the best globally.

Policy Regulation

The objective of emission-free transportation by 2030 largely guides implementation of various policy and regulatory measures in the electric vehicle market. Subsidy-based support is among the key tools deployed to incentivize electric vehicle purchase. In addition, there are other fiscal incentives such as exemption from certain taxes. Netherlands, among other major European electric vehicle markets, had taken an early start in the subsidy-led promotion of electric vehicles.

Subsidy for Purchase or Lease of Passenger Electric Vehicles

Year Objectives
2025 50% of all new passenger vehicles sold will have an electric powertrain and a plug. At least 30% of these vehicles will be zero-emission (battery electric or fuel-cell).
2030 100% of all new passenger vehicles will be zero-emission.

Source: Netherlands Enterprise Agency

The subsidy scheme of electric passenger car for private individuals (SEPP) was introduced in 2000. It has continued since then with a progressive scaling down in quantum. The key factors of eligibility are the same. SEPP covers only fully electric vehicles for private purchase. To qualify, the vehicles’ list price must range from €12,000 to €45,000 with minimum travel range of 120km. Used electric vehicles are mandated for purchases from dealerships. Most important, among all factors, is the budget allocation. The subsidy disbursement is subject to the availability of budget for that period.

As of early March 2023, a quarter of the total year’s subsidy budget, worth €99 million has been used up. In 2022, the subsidy budget was exhausted within the middle of that year. It could likely be the case for 2023 as well. Over the years, the budget and the subsidy quantum per vehicle has been in a downward trend. Further, a greater share of the budgetary outlay is getting spent on the used-vehicle segment of SEPP.

Additional support measures are found in terms of tax exemptions. Fully-electric passenger vehicles are exempt from the BPM (tax on passenger vehicles and motorcycles) and motor vehicle taxes. The latter is applicable at half rate for vehicles with CO2 emission ranging 1-50 per km. Further, the electric vehicle owners can access free parking facility at most of the locations. The local authorities and municipalities in this regard have variants of other such incentives for electric vehicles. At an enterprise level, added benefits include exemptions from value added taxes (VAT) and investment deduction (though for eligible EV list).

Year Subsidy Offered Total budgeted allocation
2023 New: € 2,950
Used: € 2,000
New: € 67 million
Used: € 32 million
2024 New: € 2,550
Used: € 2,000
New: € 58 million
Used: € 29 million
Source: Netherlands government

The government offers incentives to the enterprises involved in the electric vehicle charging business. The public charging points have been a major focus area in the government policies. The government policy document indicates an active engagement with the local city-level authorities and grid operators to determine locations of fast chargers and electric bus chargers. Under Environmental Investment Deduction (MIA) and Random Depreciation of Environmental Investments (VAMIL), enterprises are eligible for investment reduction of up to 45% and 75% respectively, for the cost of charging point. The budget for MIA and VAMIL during 2023 is €192 million and €25 million respectively. At an individual consumer level, a request can be placed with the local municipal authorities for a free (implies no cost for purchase or installation) public charging point.

The government’s ‘right to charge’ norm entitles electric vehicle owners to raise demand for network with the respective municipal authorities. Municipalities are required to set up charging points within 250m of the vehicle owners’ residence. Typically, upon receiving a request, the charging points operators validate the demand and identify the charging location based on a variety of factors, such as available capacity, accessibility, visibility, and local impacts. The actual implementation takes place in collaboration with the power distribution system operators.

Market Opportunity

Public charging has a significant position in the scheme of things planned to enhance network access. For most of the projects, public-private partnership is the key avenue adopted by policy authorities. The municipalities have increased their collaboration for a rapid charging infrastructure rollout. The National Charging Infrastructure Agenda is thus structured as one involving multiple stakeholders for a mix of local and macro-level issues.

Smart charging is among the priority areas identified in the ongoing network expansion efforts. Grid operators’ concerns about network stability and management add heft to the argument for smart charging systems. With policy emphasis, the investments appear to be picking up in this sub-segment. For instance, the planned 10,000 charging stations by the airport operator, Royal Schiphol Group, includes the smart charging and related technology systems to be implemented by the suppliers and developers Ecotap and FIMIH. Pilot projects for smart charging technologies could help reinforce the business case. A test case of smart charging was undertaken from December 2021 to October 2022 across 126 charging points spread in ten Amsterdam districts. The test results revealed that with a smart charging system in place, three to four times more charging points could be installed within the existing power network boundary.

There are several variants being considered for smart charging rollout based on local requirements. In July 2022, for instance, the municipality of Renkum received the first of 12 ‘CityCharge’ smart street lighting systems that double-up as smart electric vehicle charging points. The project was under the auspices of Smart City Netherlands – a collaboration between Primevest Capital Partners and BNG Bank. Smart City Netherlands’ projects on street lighting-cum-charging was subsequently extended to other cities and municipalities. In November 2022, one such set was installed in Eindhoven, with a plan to set up at least 23 units for trial phase. Importantly, in December 2022, the Smart City Netherlands project consortium entities (Dutch Charge, Heijmans Emobility and Primevest Capital Partners) won the tender for deploying 150 smart charge and street lighting systems at the city of Arnhem.

The emerging demand for fast-charging network aimed at heavy-duty commercial transportation is finding interest from market players seeking an early-mover position. WattHub fast-charging plaza is one of the first projects of its kind initiated in the Netherlands, aimed at catering to the electric trucks and other electrically powered heavy equipment. Its planned 39 charging stations, at rated capacity of 600kW, will be powered by renewable energy. The project is under development, in partnership by Van Oord, Dura Vermeer, Ploegam and Betuwewind, and is scheduled for commissioning by April 2023. Notably, the surplus energy of the proposed hub could be utilized by the adjoining enterprises.

There are alternate charging modes under testing for deployment in electric trucking. In this regard, the manufacturers have been asked to develop the standards for all steps involved in the charging process by the end of 2023. The next step will entail tenders for a phased development and expansion.


The goal of having only zero-emission (electric vehicle and fuel-cell) passenger vehicle fleet by 2030 would imply a fleet of about 2 million electric vehicles by then. It also means a quadrupling of existing fleet size. Adding to this will be the growth in commercial electric vehicles, especially the electric bus fleet. While the rising sales penetration is encouraging for progress, the related requirements of charging network are onerous. Despite being among the top European countries for the charging network reach, Netherlands would need to do more to accelerate the capacity addition.

The role of grid infrastructure too will come under the focus with electrification of the transport network. This will necessarily need to be dovetailed with the grid operator’s ongoing focus at managing the energy transition in power mix and its resulting impact on grid despatch as well as reliability. Among other things, this will also entail exploring options in areas such as flexible generation and microgrids among others. The grid operator TenneT plans €6.6 billion in investment by 2025 towards power network strengthening and expansion for emerging requirements.

The subsidy-led model of growth sustained the Dutch market for long. With each successive year, the available subsidy support and the budgetary allocation is on a decline. The demand meanwhile is very high, as evident from the rapid exhaustion of the annual subsidy allocation. It is thus an open question as to how the trend will shape once the subsidy package is completely phased out to allow for market forces. The rise in energy costs and the overall inflationary environment are other factors that could impact the market demand, if at all for short-term.