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report: Webinar on e-mobility: National charging infrastructure approach and agenda

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In this webinar, organized by Netherlands Enterprise Agency, several speakers give a firsthand insight into the Dutch charging infrastructure approach, their own contributions to it and the lessons learned.

Bert Klerk, chair of the National Charging Infrastructure Agenda, starts by offering an overview of the Dutch approach to electromobility. The approach is based on two key pillars. The first pillar consists of a number of fiscal and financial incentives that stimulate both consumers and businesses in their shift to electric vehicles (EVs).

The second pillar of the Dutch approach, is its strong focus on charging infrastructure. The central idea here is that the availability of charging points should never become an obstacle to the rollout of electric vehicles themselves. To this end several working groups have been set up under the umbrella of the national agenda. Each of those groups tackles a specific issue attached to the rollout of charging infrastructure network, such as safety & cybersecurity, smart charging, logistics, open markets & protocols, and the acceleration of the process itself.

The Dutch Minister for the Environment, Stientje van Veldhoven, underscores in a video message the importance of the National Charging Infrastructure Agenda. She explains that even though the Netherlands has the highest charging point density in the world, their introduction is still not going fast enough. As such she is delighted with the agenda, as it contributes to meeting the target of 100% of new cars sold to be zero-emission by 2030.
Another important development she highlights is the price transparency for EV-drivers, since 1 December 2020. Charge point operators have not always been as transparent about pricing as one would expect. But they now need to assure that prices are publicly available to all EV-drivers at all times. This is beneficial for EV-drivers and makes for a more mature EV-sector.

Suzanne Riezebos, policy advisor for the Province of Gelderland, offers a firsthand insight into the National Charging Infrastructure Agenda’s actual implementation. Her talk addresses one of the key challenges local and regional governments may face: how to realize a region-wide network, with limited budgets and man power.

The solution is a concession agreement. A concession is a contract between a group of local governments, on the one hand, and a charge point operator, on the other. Such an agreement creates benefits for both parties. By collaborating, local authorities increase their bargaining power while lowering their individual workload. It also makes it easier to set guidelines to which market parties should adhere, such as rules that prescribe when a charge point operator is obliged to install a public charging point on a citizen’s request. It is equally beneficial for market parties. It offers them predictability and makes it possible to realize charge points in locations with temporally lower demand, as this can be offset by gains made in other locations within the same concession.

A short movie (see below) then explains how the 4 biggest cities in the Netherlands (Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam and Utrecht) tackle charging infrastructure challenges by means of the Agenda.

The fourth speaker, Frank Geerts, is an expert in smart charging at E-LaadNL. He explains that the Netherlands is not only a world leader in charging infrastructure but also in smart charging technology. This technology enables controlling a vehicles charging power and time, in order to match energy supply. More information can be found in the E-LaadNL smart charging guide, available in Dutch and English.

Frank explains that the Netherlands is a front runner in smart charging as all charging points are already ‘smart charging ready’. Two E-LaadNL publications that will come out soon, will offer those interested an even deeper insight into the topic. The first will provide a technical definition of ‘smart charging ready’ both for charge points and for vehicles. The second draws the combined lessons from over 40 smart charging projects, which can give newcomers a head start.

They may also want to pay close attention to the many real world smart charging experiments taking place in the Netherlands right now. Elaad-NL is involved in a variety of real world test cases with at different locations, with different types of electric vehicles and different governance models.

The charging infrastructure agenda also pays specific attention to the logistics sector. As Jeroen Kroonen from the Dutch Knowledge Center on Charging Infrastructure explains, electrification of the logistics sector brings along a whole set of specific challenges. Therefore a specific road map on logistic charging infrastructure will be published in the next few months. It will address the goals and actions concerning charging infrastructure for trucks, city logistics and inland shipping.

Finally, Bert Klerk highlights some of the unique expertise of Dutch companies in the electric transportation sector. Dutch companies are leading in developing and installing charging infrastructure. They produce electric buses, trucks and light electric vehicles and supply components for the electric automotive industry. The Netherlands has also become a leader in the development of open protocols and with that in assuring interoperability between different systems and suppliers.

All these developments together show that the Netherlands is very successful in the field of electromobility. Many successes have already been achieved. Nevertheless, much remains to be done.
The recording of the webinar can be watched here.