By Jan-Emile van Rossum.
The Netherlands is among the countries with the highest electric vehicle market penetration in the world. As of August 2014, a total of 40,880 highway legal plug-in electric vehicles were registered in the Netherlands, comprising the second-largest fleet per capita in the world after Norway.
It’s no wonder, considering the country’s progressive policies, affinity for innovation, and forward-thinking, environmentally-conscious consumers. The Dutch government, too, is dedicated to a greener future for transportation: as part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, the government initiated a plan to establish over 200 recharging stations for electric vehicles across the country. The initiative means that, by 2015, every Dutch citizen will live within 31 miles of an electric vehicle charging station.
This mix of passionate consumers and a conscious government are major factors in why big names in electric vehicles like Tesla and Zero have chosen the Netherlands as their launching pad for the European market.
In 2013, Tesla Motors opened its European distribution center and assembly and servicing facilities and began delivering its Model S to Dutch, Belgian, French, and German customers. Just last month, Tesla began serving the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport with the launch of a fleet of 167 electric taxis operated by BBF Schipholtaxi and BIOS-groep. According to Jos Nijhuis, Schiphol Group’s President and CEO, this represents a crucial step in Schiphol’s efforts to reduce CO2 emissions and become one of the world’s three most sustainable airports.
Zero Motorcycles, the global leader in the electric motorcycle industry, also enjoys a home in the Netherlands, having operated its European headquarters in Alkmaar, near Amsterdam, since 2009. According to Zero Motorcycles inventor, Neal Saiki, Zero offers “the perfect solution to all Europeans who love motorcycles, innovation, and the environment” — a sentiment which really resonates with Dutch customers.
For these and other reasons, the Netherlands represents the ideal market for e-vehicles in Europe. As Tesla Motors Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Ownership Experience George Blankenship puts it, Tesla and the Netherlands “share a similar vision surrounding energy sustainability and a clean future for generations to come.”
About Jan-Emile van Rossum: As executive director of the Netherlands Foreign Investment Agency (NFIA) for North America, Jan-Emile van Rossum oversees operations for the five NFIA offices throughout North America and is responsible for ensuring that the organization’s resources and third party partners effectively support North American companies as they expand their operations into Europe with a strategic location in the Netherlands.
Image Credits: 1) Amsterdam Autumn by Skreidzeleu/Shutterstock; 2) Hannah Anthonysz / Rotterdam Image Bank; 3 & 4) NL Agency.
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