Number of all-electric cars has doubled

© © Alrik Swagerman
On 1 January 2019, there were nearly 45 thousand fully electric vehicles (FEVs) in the Netherlands, twice the number recorded one year previously. The number of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) decreased by more than 3 percent to nearly 94 thousand. The total fleet of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs, including FEVs and PHEVs) - increased by 16 percent in 2018. This is according to new figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS), based on vehicle licence registration records of the Netherlands Vehicle Authority (RDW).

On 1 January 2019, there were nearly 139 thousand PEVs in the Netherlands. These passenger cars are powered by an electric motor with a battery which can be recharged by plugging it into an external power source. They include both FEVs, i.e. emission-free and propelled only by an electric motor, and PHEVs; the latter type is equipped with both an electric and a fuel-driven engine. Nearly 77 percent of these cars are used for business purposes, versus 12 percent of all passenger cars.
The number of electric cars has been on the rise for years. On 1 January 2019, 1.6 percent of all passenger cars in the Netherlands were plug-in electric vehicles.

FEVs growing in number

On 1 January 2014, there were more than 4.6 thousand FEVs in the Netherlands. This has increased almost tenfold to 44.7 thousand five years later. The growth was mainly recorded between 1 January 2018 and 1 January 2019, when nearly 23 thousand additional FEVs were added. On 1 January 2019, nearly 1.6 percent of all passenger cars in the Netherlands were FEVs.

Number of plug-in electric vehicles, 1 January (x 1,000)
 PHEVs (plug-in hybrid electric vehicles)FEVs (fully electric vehicles)
201424.3684.621
201536.7547.416
201676.2699.962
201795.72513.709
201897.26521.842
201993.91844.678
Source: CBS, RDW

Decline in plug-in hybrids

At the start of this year, almost 94 thousand PHEVs were driven around on Dutch roads, over 3 percent down on the previous year. The number of PHEVs surged as of 2014, but the increase came to a halt in 2017. As of January 2017, the additional tax liability for PHEV owners was raised to 22 percent. This means that PHEVs are no longer cheaper than petrol or diesel cars from a tax perspective.

9 in 10 new PEVs fully electric

The increase in the number of plug-in electric cars between 1 January 2018 and 1 January 2019 is mainly attributable to the higher number of new PEVs. In 2018, around 28 thousand new PEVs were registered in the Netherlands, over 18 thousand more than in 2017. Nearly 90 percent of all new PEVs in 2018 are fully electric.

Not only were new PEVs added, but a large number also disappeared over the course of 2018, for example due to exports and absorption of stock by car dealers and lease companies. As a result, the total fleet of PEVs reached 139 thousand vehicles on 1 January 2019.

New plug-in passenger cars (x 1,000)
 Fully electricPlug-in hybrid
20121.1164.326
20132.73720.029
20143.71912.199
20153.57541.213
20164.23918.297
20178.2251.781
201824.5973.624
Source: CBS, RDW

Highest increase in new Teslas

As in previous years, the Tesla Model S was the most popular FEV in 2018. On 1 January 2019, over 12 thousand of these cars were driven on Dutch roads. Other popular FEVs in 2018 were the Jaguar I-Pace, Nissan Leaf and the Tesla Model X. The Mitsubishi Outlander has been the most common plug-in hybrid for years, with nearly 23 thousand vehicles on 1 January 2019. The heydays were in 2014 and 2015, when approximately 8 thousand new cars of this model were seen on the roads per year. In 2018, this was 900. The Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine comes second with nearly 800 new plug-in hybrids in 2018.

Top 5 new plug-in electric vehicles, 2018 (x 1,000)
 Number
Fully electric vehicles (FEVs)
Tesla Model S5.642
Jaguar I-Pace3.5
Nissan LEAF3.425
Tesla Model X2.969
Volkswagen Golf2.262
Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs)
Mitsubishi Outlander0.907
Volvo XC60 T8 Twin Engine0.795
Porsche Panamera 4 E-Hybrid0.356
BMW 530E iPerformance0.214
Volvo XC90 T8 Twin Engine0.171
Source: CBS, RWD