A recent study found that the Netherlands already leads Europe in the expansion of charging infrastructure for electric cars. Despite the head start, the number of charging points in parking garages is to be increased tenfold over the next four years compared to the current level.
This is the target agreed by the Dutch State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, Stientje Van Veldhoven, with an association of 120 parking garage owners, municipalities and industry partners, which has founded a “Platform for Parking in the Netherlands” under the name Vexpan. Currently, there are about 400 parking garages nationwide with an average of 450 parking spaces. However, about two-thirds of these parking garages do not yet have charging points for electric cars.
The specific target that has now been agreed is that there should be a charging station at an average of five per cent of parking spaces by 2025 and at ten per cent of parking spaces in parking garages by 2030. These percentages are based on the estimated total number of charging stations that are likely to be needed in the coming years. The parties involved plan to review every six months to see if the build-out is on schedule.
Absolute numbers are not given in the official press releases, but can be inferred. With 400 parking garages with an average of 450 parking spaces, we are talking about 180,000 parking spaces. Charging infrastructure at five per cent corresponds to 9,000 parking spaces, at ten per cent it is 18,000 parking spaces. Since there is talk of a tenfold increase within the next four years, around 900 parking spaces in Dutch parking garages are currently suitable for charging.
For new parking garages and major renovations of existing parking garages, there are already minimum requirements for the number of charging points in accordance with European regulations. With the targets now formulated, however, many existing parking garages should also be equipped with charging infrastructure. Under the agreements, charging infrastructure experts, parking garage operators and municipalities plan to work together to install charging points “in the smartest way possible,” according to a statement.
The Netherlands is far ahead in Europe when it comes to infrastructure development. An analysis published these days by the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) recorded nearly 287,000 public charging points in Europe by the turn of 2020/21. However, the charge points are far from evenly distributed: Five of the 32 countries surveyed are home to 73 per cent of all public charging points. The Netherlands leads the way with 66,400 public charging points, followed by France (just over 46,000), Germany (around 44,500), the UK (around 33,300) and Norway (just over 18,500).
And the ambitions of the Dutch remain high. This is reflected not only in the parking garage approach specified above, but also in a recently presented initiative according to which at least 14 Dutch municipalities want to introduce zero-emission zones for delivery traffic by 2025. The agenda is also accompanied by a subsidy program for electric utility vehicles: starting March 15, entrepreneurs can apply for up to 5,000 euros in government subsidies for the purchase or lease of electric delivery vehicles. The subsidy program for electric trucks is also to be launched in March.
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