In my recent trip to the Netherlands, I got to speak with a handful of electric vehicle experts. Of course, I was quite curious about EV incentives, so I probed them about those. The Netherlands is one of the top countries in the world in terms of electric vehicle sales. Per capita or relative to overall car sales (7% of car sales in June), it is probably #2, only trailing Norway (23% of car sales). But it doesn’t have clear, straight incentives for EVs like most countries with EV incentives have (like the US, which offers a $7,500 federal tax credit). So, what exactly are the incentives?
I spoke with Blue Corner’s Hans Verwijs, who has been involved in the EV industry in the Netherlands for decades, as well as Karel Beckman of EnergyPost.eu, and they offered a lot of info. Have a watch, or jump past the video to my summary if you want to jump to the chase and avoid all the other EV stuff we talked about:
As you heard if you watched the video, there is a tax on cars (BPM tax) the purchasers or lessees of electric cars don’t have to pay. That is applicable to everyone, but other financial incentives are just for businesses. However, the story is in no way simple. For business vehicles, you typically add a certain percentage of the car’s value (24%) to your income when doing your taxes. However, in the case of plug-in vehicles, it is reduced (7% for fully electric cars and 14% for plug-in hybrids). Since the incentive is only for business use, however, you have to indicate what percentage of your driving is for personal use and exclude that (like what you do in the US if you are self-employed and have a home office). (Note, for clarification, that every consumer still pays the VAT on their cars in the Netherlands, which is a “value-added tax,” or basically a general sales tax.)
Presumably, these incentives adds up to quite good financial savings, as the Dutch are buying electric vehicles like stroopwafels.
Additionally, as I wrote before when covering EV charging in Amsterdam, if you need an EV charging station on your street, you can request that the city put one in, and it will do so. You still have to pay for charging, but you don’t have to pay to install a charger.
Before someone gets hung up on financial incentives for electric vehicles, however, Hans was keen to point out an important statistic: people living in Amsterdam live one year shorter than they would otherwise because of air pollution. And that’s in perhaps the #1 large city for bicycling.
Again, here are some of my pics of electric vehicles and charging stations in Amsterdam from a few days there in June: