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Dutch Action Plan for Electric Driving: Demonstration and R&D projects

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency, which is part of the Department of Economic Affairs, Agriculture, and Innovation, executes the National Plan. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency implements programs on innovation, sustainability, and international business and cooperation for various departments within the national government.

As described in the policy page, the national government unveiled an Action Plan for Electric Driving in mid-2009. Included in this plan are demonstration and R&D projects.

For the demonstration projects, the national govern­ment developed a subsidy program with a budget of 10 M€ in the first quarter of 2010. The objectives of the program are testing the technologies of the vehicles in real-world transport, learning about how these vehicles will be used, demonstration of the transportation possibilities of electric vehicles, and business case development. Nine demonstration projects for testing a total of 231 BEVs and PHEVs in a number of applications were awarded subsidy grants to run from 2010  to 2012.

The Action Plan’s Formula-E team has also assigned about 18.5 M€ since the start of the Action Plan. Ten R&D projects with a subsidized content of 14.7 M€ were awarded for developing applications related to electric mobility which ranged from designing new parts to system analysis of the electrification of heavy-duty vehicles. Also, a new series of R&D projects was launched in 2010 with a national contribution of 3.5 M€. These included R&D on fuel cell and zero-emission buses, development of an engine, EV drivetrains, and safety and standardization of EV batteries.

Dutch innovation is not only supported by national plans, but also relies on support from other regions or from international plans. Two interesting examples in the automotive fuel cell application for buses are the HyMove project (for the Arnhem-Nijmegen region) and the Waterstofnet project, in the Flanders/Noord-Brabant/Zeeland (Belgium/the Netherlands).

Automotive and Energy Research

The Netherlands has several automotive and energy research institutes:

  • TNO Industry and Technology – Automotive
  • Technical Universities of Delft and Eindhoven
  • Technical College, Automotive Division, Arnhem
  • D-incert (Dutch innovation centre for electric road transport), Delft
  • ECN (Energy Research Centre), Petten

The Automotive Technology Centre (ATC) is a cluster organization that stimulates technological innovation and cooperation. Its mission is to strengthen the international technology and business position of the Dutch automotive sector: members are mostly from the industry, and the organization is supported by several authorities.

Most automotive research institutes are located near Eindhoven in the southeast, which has easy access to the areas associated with the automotive industry in nearby Aachen, Germany, and the institutes in Belgium.

High Tech Automotive Systems (HTAS) Program

The HTAS is a market-driven program organized and directed by the Dutch automotive industry and empowered by the Department of Economic Affairs, Agriculture, and Innovation. Its goals are to focus automotive innovation on areas that match the strengths and ambitions of the Dutch automotive sector and to identify future opportunities and challenges in the international automotive industry.

Key focus areas are vehicle efficiency and driving guidance. The HTAS Program was established in 2007 to run for 5 years. At the end of 2009 a research plan for Electric Vehicle Technology was added.