21% of newly registered Dutch cars are EVs — here’s how that happened


The Netherlands, despite its small size, is rich in culture, history and beautiful places. The country is famous for its canals, colorful tulip fields, picturesque windmills, traditional clogs, a large variety of cheeses and its cycling culture. The Netherlands is also one of the main markets for electric vehicles, both in Europe and globally. In 2020, 21% of all newly registered cars were battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and 4% were plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). This high adoption rate, especially of BEVs, is a testament to the progressive electric vehicle policies implemented in recent years.

To promote the electrification of the national car fleet, the Dutch government offers strong incentives to reduce the cost for buyers and owners of an electric vehicle. This is particularly true for BEVs, which are subject to the government’s zero-emission transportation strategy. Individuals buying or leasing a new battery-powered electric passenger car can claim 4000 € of the government. In the case of a used battery electric car, the amount is 2,000 €.

In addition, BEV owners benefit from exemption from the single registration tax and annual property taxes, or benefit from a reduction in the case of plug-in hybrid vehicles. Conversely, buyers and owners of conventional combustion engine vehicles are subject to particularly high vehicle taxes. compared to other European markets.

How do these policies affect the household budget of people who want to buy a new car? Looking at the illustration below, one thing catches your eye: Consumers get the best deal by purchasing a BEV instead of a comparable PHEV, gasoline or diesel model. This is thanks to the € 4000 purchase premium, exemptions on registration and property rights, and relatively low consumption costs.

Taking VW’s ID.3 as an example, the deduction of the government bonus of € 4,000 from the tax value (which results in a base price and value added tax lower than shown in the price lists manufacturer) makes it the cheapest alternative to purchase and per 4 year cost of ownership. Gasoline and diesel cars are subject to one-off registration taxes and relatively high annual taxes for vehicle ownership, amounting to several thousand euros. Compared to the petrol version of the VW Golf, private buyers who choose the VW ID.3 BEV save € 4,500 on acquisition and € 10,000 if the car is kept for 4 years. If buyers aren’t lucky enough to get the one-time bonus of € 4,000, before the available funds run out, the cost advantage still exists, albeit reduced.