RSM research indicates explosive growth of EVs in the Netherlands

More affordable and popular electric cars will influence electricity suppliers too

The number of full-electric vehicles is expected to grow explosively in the central Dutch conurbation called the Randstad in the years ahead. Plug-in cars will double in number in The Hague, Dordrecht and Rotterdam within two years, and in Amersfoort in four. An important factor is better affordability, which will make electric vehicles extremely popular. This is the conclusion in a study by grid operator Stedin, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) and knowledge and innovation centre ElaadNL. The emergence of growing numbers of electric cars will force grid operators to make smarter choices to keep the electricity grid reliable and affordable. 

Tesla Model 3 in vogue in Utrecht and Amersfoort

Earlier research by Stedin and RSM showed high incomes to be the major factor in buying all-electric cars. Now that popular car manufacturers are also introducing more affordable cars to the market, high income is less important, creating explosive growth. With the introduction of the Tesla Model 3, the manufacturer experienced a huge demand for the model. Worldwide, around 1,800 Model 3s are sold every day; reason enough for RSM to investigate whether this popularity will also affect expectations in the Netherlands. 

The study showed that in The Hague, Rotterdam and Dordrecht, the number of fully-electric cars will at least double within two years (see table). What’s notable is that in the cities of Utrecht and Amersfoort, the growth of all-electric cars will be less rapid, but it is expected that almost half of all new all-electric cars will be Tesla Model 3s within the next four years. More incomes that match the average, a relatively large number of drivers who lease cars, and a lower average age, mean there are more potential Tesla Model 3 drivers in Utrecht and Amersfoort than elsewhere.



Explosive growth of electric cars

The market for electric vehicles is undergoing strong growth. According to the organisation that represents manufacturers and importers of bicycles and motorised vehicles in the Netherlands, the RAI (Rijwiel & Automobiel Industrie), 80 per cent more all-electric cars were sold in the first half of 2017 than in the entire previous year. Vehicle manufacturers are not holding back. Recently, Volvo announced it will sell only electric models from 2019. Governments are also expressing their aspirations for making vehicle transportation more sustainable. The Dutch government wants to have a million electric cars on the road by 2025, while Britain and France have said they will halt any further sales of diesel and petrol cars by 2040. 


Impact of electric transportation on the electricity grid

Electric cars use a relatively large quantity of electricity to charge, sometimes even comparable to the simultaneous energy consumption of 10 households. More electric cars on the road means more demand for charging points. That means the local electricity grids need sufficient capacity to deliver this. So it’s good for grid operators to know where potential e-drivers live, and thus where charging points will be needed in the future. The best way to charge cars is with ‘Smart Charging’. This method permits efficient charging, for instance at times when plenty of solar power is available. For the time being this avoids any expensive investment so that electricity bills remain affordable.

Research into the charging options for electric transportation

The study considered a variety of factors involved in the purchase of electric cars, like age, income, whether they are private individuals or leasing drivers, and the urbanisation of where they live. Stedin places considerable importance on reliable research into the energy grid and what role it can play in a more sustainable Netherlands. RSM students, along with Stedin and ElaadNL, have been researching the charging options for electric transportation since 2015. 


About Stedin

Sustainable energy for everyone is the goal that Stedin works towards every day to ensure that its more than two million customers can live and work in the most densely populated and industrialised region of the Netherlands: the province of Utrecht and the larger part of the province of Zuid-Holland. It’s a service area with a particularly complex energy infrastructure and a high dependence on energy. With some 3,000 employees, Stedin is working on a sustainable energy supply with more and more local production that can be a future-proof system that will continue to be reliable and affordable and can be passed on from generation to generation.


About ElaadNL

ElaadNL is the knowledge and innovation centre in the field of (Smart) Charging infrastructure in the Netherlands and is owned by the Dutch grid operators. It is ElaadNL’s mission to ensure that everyone with an electric vehicle can charge smart in the future. ElaadNL also co-ordinates the connections of public charging stations to the electricity grid.


Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top 10 business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers. Study information and activities for future students, executives and alumni are also organised from the RSM office in Chengdu, China.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Marianne Schouten, communications manager for RSM, on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at

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