Big differences in availability of electric car chargers between Dutch municipalities

The government announced on Wednesday that it would push an extra 90 million euros into expanding the charging station network for electric cars. The money must cover the “blind spots” in the network, of which there are many, according to NOS’s analysis of data from the National Agenda Charging Infrastructure (NAL). Electric car drivers in the Randstad can find a charging spot much more easily than elsewhere in the country.

NOS and the regional broadcasters found significant differences in the availability of public charging points in the Netherlands. Noord- and Zuid-Holland have at least one charging point per 100 households. Limburg and the four northern provinces have one per 300 or more households.

Statistics Netherlands (CBS) divided the Netherlands into squares of 500 by 500 meters. The NAL’s goal is to have at least one public charging station in each of those squares with 125 households or more.

In Friesland, that target is only achieved in 35 percent of those areas. Groningen reaches the target in 42 percent of the 500×500 meter squares, Drenthe in 43 percent, and Limburg in 48 percent.

Zuid-Holland, Utrecht, and Noord-Holland have at least one public charging station in eight out of ten neighborhoods.

On a municipal level, only 10 have charging stations in all of their squares with 125 households or more. Nine of them – Barendrecht, Diemen, Krimpen aan den IJssel, Ouder-Amstel, Oudewater, Papendrecht, Rijswijk, Voorschoten, and Wassenaar – are in the Randstad. The tenth one is Geertruidenberg.

On the other hand, some municipalities in Northern Netherlands only have a public charging station in 15 percent of their qualifying 500×500 meter squares. These include Central Groningen, Duntamadiel, and Pekela.

The difference is partly explained by the fact that there are just fewer electric cars outside the Randstad. However, CBS figures from January 2022 show that it’s not all a supply and demand problem. Drenthe and Friesland, for example, have over ten electric cars per charging point. Noord- and Zuid-Holland have less than five electric cars per public charging point.

One explanation for this is that people in the countryside more often have their own driveway to install their own private charging point, Ronald Ferwerda of the National Knowledge Platform for Charging Infrastructure told NOS. “There are also fewer large companies with lease drivers. Lease drivers are generally the first to ask for charging options, and the government’s incentive policy in the past was mainly aimed at business electric driving.”

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