The Netherlands - On the Road and Deployments

By Country


Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Sales Growth

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) have been commercially available in the Netherlands since 2004 when the Toyota Prius II was introduced. Toyota, Lexus, and Honda are the main players in the market for hybrid cars. Sales figures continuously increase each year, especially for the leasing market. These cars benefit from purchase and road tax relief with income tax reductions as described in the Policy and Legislation section.  

New HEVs continue to be introduced to the Dutch market, including various vehicle types and engines. For example, micro-hybrids are gaining in popularity. This vehicle type represents brake-energy recuperation and start/stop systems, helping the vehicles to achieve extremely low fuel consumption along with related tax benefits for owners.

Plug-in electric hybrids (PHEVs) were offered for sale in 2011. Hybrid goods vehicles (i.e., delivery vans and trucks) are emerging from the prototype stage, while hybrid buses are generally in the very early development phase, with some demonstration projects under way.

The National government’s anticipated development  for the electric vehicles market over  the next 10+ years.


Market development

Expected number of EVs

Program stage



<100 to <1000

Program start-up



15,000 to 20,000

Program implementation


Continued roll-out


Program consolidation

After 2020

Mature market

1,000,000 cars in 2025

Program scaled down

The National Action Plan for Electric Driving includes funding for demonstration projects. Nine demonstration projects were awarded subsidy grants that began in 2010 and will conclude in 2012.  Additionally, the electricity grid consortium E-laad assists communities with local action plans for electromobility which include these cities: Amsterdam, 'sHertogenbosch, Rotterdam,  and Utrecht. Some regions also have plans to deploy EVs.

 On the road

The Dutch vehicle park (in-use fleet) comprised over 28 million vehicles in 2010.  Motorized bicycles account for over 18 million of the total vehicle park that is more than the number of Dutch habitants. Hybrid buses and commercial transport are not widely available for sale, but this will change in coming years as more automakers offer a larger array of hybrid and electric heavy-duty vehicles for sale. 

The passenger car population was up slightly in 2010, following increased new-car sales over the crisis year 2009. There is a strong tendency, driven by tax measures, for cars to be lighter, smaller, and more fuel-efficient, which continued in 2010. This trend will help the introduction of battery electric vehicles (BEVs)  because they fit this market need, especially for the new Nissan Leaf.   

Until 2009 the average annual sales volume of cars in the Netherlands was about 500,000 units. A 2009 drop in sales by 22% was nearly compensated for by an increase in 2010 (480,000 units). In 2010, sales share of hybrids was about 7%—up once more from the previous year. By the end of 2010, one of every 200 passenger cars was a hybrid.

Some interesting news in 2010 was the public’s great enthusiasm for second-hand hybrids. Lease companies (the biggest group of first owners) feared the average consumer would not find the hybrids attractive enough because part of the tax exemption was not applicable to private owners. While flooding the second-hand market with large numbers of four-year-old ex-lease hybrids, lease companies found to their surprise that the Dutch public welcomed all of them. This means lease-tariffs for new hybrids can be kept relatively low, making them even more appealing when offered as company cars.

Renault Nissan Alliance and the E-laad Foundation

The Renault-Nissan Alliance signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the E-laad Foundation in June 2011. As part of the agreement, the Alliance will provide a full range of 100% electric vehicles to private customers starting with the Nissan Leaf, followed by BEVs from Renault. At the same time, E-laad Foundation is implementing a nationwide, affordable public charging infrastructure compatible with such cars.



Over two dozen Dutch companies and authorities so far have bundled their demands in a purchasing consortium, the Dutch Consortium for the Tender of Electric Cars (DC-TEC). DC-TEC is open to public and private companies established in the Netherlands that are willing to purchase at least 10 EVs. 

The goals of the consortium reach beyond the mere procurement of EVs with these activities:

  • Creation and fulfillment of initial demand for successful development of the electric vehicle market in the Netherlands by reducing the barriers for businesses in electrifying their fleets
  • Dissemination of knowledge about electric vehicles
  • Creation of operational boundary conditions that meet the threshold levels of conventional internal combustion engine technology
  • Encouraging manufacturers to step up the development of electric drivetrains.