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The Race Is On For EV Adoption

The Netherlands Leads the Way in Electric Vehicle Adoption

The Netherlands may be a small country in area, but it is rich in history, culture and beauty. The nation is renowned for its scenic canals, picturesque windmills, vibrant tulip fields, traditional clogs, tasty cheeses and its bicycling culture.

But recent research by has revealed that the Netherlands is also leading the way in the adoption of electric vehicles and the infrastructure to support them, not just in Europe, but across the globe. In 2020, 21% of all newly registered cars were battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 4% were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs).

Norway and Sweden were second and third, while the UK trailed in eighth place. Canada and the USA came ninth and tenth respectively. The survey showed that the Netherlands, with a population of 17.28 million, has 60,000 public charging stations, compared to the UK’s population of 66.65 million having access to just 13,505 charging stations.

That means the Netherlands has 58 people per electric vehicle (EV) and five EVs per charging station. Compare that to the UK with 154 people per EV and 32 EVs per charging station.

EU-EV race scores

Why is the Netherlands So Far Ahead in the EV Market?

The high rate of uptake of electric vehicles in the Netherlands, particularly of BEVs, is a testament to the advanced EV policies implemented by the country over the past several years. To drive the electrification of the nation’s transport, the Dutch government offers strong incentives to reduce the cost for buyers and owners of an EV.

This is particularly true for BEVs, which are at the centre of the government’s zero-emission transport strategy. Motorists who buy or lease a new BEV can claim back €4,000 from the government. In the case of a used BEV, the amount is €2,000. Additionally, owners of a BEV benefit from waivers on the one-time registration tax and yearly ownership taxes, while for PHEVs, the taxes are reduced.

On the other hand, Dutch buyers and owners of conventional petrol and diesel-engine vehicles are charged much higher vehicle taxes in comparison to other European countries.

The incentives for EV ownership are backed up by the charging infrastructure. The Netherlands has the highest number of public charging stations per electric vehicle and per 100 km2 in Europe. Some Dutch cities provide free public charging points for private individuals and businesses where home and workplace charging is not possible.

As zero-emissions policies are implemented, the number of electric vehicles on the market is also increasing giving buyers a wider choice of models to choose from. In 2020, over 60 different models of BEVs, were newly registered in the country.

Are You Considering a BEV for Your Next Car?

The Netherlands is proof that national and local policies play a key role in driving the transition to BEVs. The UK plans to phase out the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, but the government should take a close look at the Netherlands if it is to meet that target.

UK Number Plates

If you’re thinking about buying an EV, you should take a look at the discounts and grants that might be available to you. By having a BEV with the new green number plates, you could also benefit from free or cheap parking. You should also consider adding a unique touch to your new BEV with number plates from CarReg. Search our extensive database for your perfect plates.