Originally published on the ECOreport
People working in automotive development labs today see cars which will hit the road in a couple of years’ time and know their internal combustion counterparts cannot compete — they see the tipping point today. For most of us, it is still a future event. Today’s electric vehicles need to become more affordable. They need longer range and an infrastructure to support them. Fastned’s CEO, Michiel Langezaal, says everything will move quickly after these issues are addressed. Everybody could be driving EVs in 10-15 years.
Phase One: The Netherlands
Fastned is currently in what Langezaal calls phase one, building up a network of charging stations in the Netherlands.
“Every light is green. There is no red light, or even yellow signal. Revenues are growing; usage of the network is growing. The signs that we see at the Tesla superchargers – waiting lines – are indications of what we will see in the coming year at Fastned as well. We have to work hard on procuring permits, building the infrastructure and finance it,” said Langezaal.
When the ECOreport interviewed him last December, Langezaal did not believe the Netherlands would reach the national goal of 200,000 electric cars on the road by 2020. He is no longer as certain. If the government adopts the right incentive program, it could put as many as 300,000 EVs on the road. Otherwise, it will be lucky to reach 160,000.
Phase Two: A Pan European Network
“A couple of years down the road, I expect to see an increase in luxury cars with much more range and the introduction of medium-range full-electric cars in the low end segment. This is the moment when electric cars will become available to the masses,” said Langezaal.
Around 5-10% of the population might adopt electric vehicles during phase two.
Fastned is taking the initial steps to expand beyond the Netherlands. It is in discussion with Germany’s Ministry of infrastructure and is also working towards the deployment of teams in France, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria.
Phase Three: Becoming Everyone’s Car
Phase three, the mass adoption of electric vehicles, is not as far away as people think.
“People often overshoot in their initial estimates and undershoot their long time goal,” said Langezaal.
Who could have predicted the extent that the internet caught on? Or digital photography?
When everything is ready, Langezaal expects electric vehicles to take over in much the same way.
Photo Credits: Projected growth of the Fastned network during Phase 1- Courtesy Fastned; Battery developments in the next five years, Low end EVs will probably go 300 km per charge – Courtesy Fastned; a Fastned Charging Station
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