Electric car sales in Netherlands to double next year: auto association

The sale of electric cars in the Netherlands will double next year, the RAI Association expects. This is largely thanks to an increasing supply of more affordable models with a larger radius in what they can do, NU.nl reports.

"From 2018 more and more new models of electric cars will be introduced on the market", the organization said on Friday. "This makes it more interesting for a larger group of car owners to opt for an emission-free car."

RAI believes that the sale of new fully electric cars will grow to 15 thousand next year. Up to November 1st of this year, a total of 5,998 new zero emission cars were sold in the Netherlands, compared to 3,015 in the same period last yer. The association expects that a total of around 7 thousand fully electric cars will be sold throughout this year. 

A massive 90 percent of electric cars bought in the Netherlands, are purchased for business use. This is stimulated by a low 4 percent addition - the money you pay to the government when you don't own the car you drive - that is effective until 2021.

Dutch individuals still largely opt for cheaper petrol or diesel cars. According to the RAI, this is mainly because electric cars are still too expensive for individuals. "The only way to seduce private individuals is with a private procurement subsidy for new electric cars", RAI chairman Steven van Eijck said, according to NU.nl. 

Despite the increasing sale in electric cars, the 15 thousand electric cars expected to be sold next year still only account for 4 percent of the total car sales expected in 2018.

Van Eijck emphasized that electric driving is essential for the Netherlands to achieve its own and European targets on reducing emissions. He therefore calls for substantial investments in the expansion and upgrade of the country's charging network. "There must be sufficient capacity on the power grid if hundreds of thousands of cars go to the charging station at the same time in the future. In addition, batteries are becoming larger and therefore take longer to load, unless the charging network is modified."