California dreaming in Holland

The Dutch government wants to have 1 million electric or hybrid cars on the road by 2025. Cities and provincies are already taking concrete steps to make electric transport a practical reality. The province of Noord- Brabant even dreams of becoming the Silicon Valley of electric cars in the EU.

During the last few months, electric transport has become the new buzz word in the Netherlands. One after the other initiative is being announced. March: Amsterdam wants free parking at charging stations for electric cars with an external rechargeable battery. April: Utility companies decide to put up 10,000 free charging stations before 2012. June: The government allocates a _65 million subsidy for R&D, pilot projects and infrastructure during the next 3 years to stimulate investments in electric cars. July: Christian and social democrat members of parliament want to double the already ambitious target of one million electric cars.

Fred Hagendoorn, chairman of an official governmental advisory group, puts government policy into perspective.

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