Speech by Stientje van Veldhoven, State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management, for the panel discussion on sustainable infrastructure at the Future Mobility symposium

‘We have a good starting position with the densest network in the world. But this is only a start. Our aim is 1.7 million public and semi-public charging points by 2030.’ That said State Secretary Van Veldhoven at the congress Future Mobility in Berlin on 9 april

Ladies and gentlemen,

First let me thank you for inviting me here today. The theme of this panel discussion is both dynamic and highly relevant to society.
The Netherlands has set ambitious goals for energy-neutral and emission-free transport. I’m the member of government responsible for the transport sector’s contribution to our climate goals.
These are extremely exciting and fascinating times. There’s a lot at stake. And that makes meetings like today’s particularly interesting. Because there’s a great need to share knowledge. As far as mobility is concerned, we’re now at the start of a new era.

The most striking illustration of this might surprise you.
You’ve probably heard that there’s a new James Bond film in the making.
And the latest news is that Bond will be getting an electric car.
He’s sticking with his famous Aston Martin, but he’s trading in the petrol version for a fully electric Rapid E model.
James Bond’s going energy-neutral!
He still has a licence to kill, but no longer a licence to spill!
You won’t find a stronger signal than this that the new era has begun.

What are my ideas and what is the Dutch position?
The Netherlands has some highly ambitious goals for reducing carbon emissions. By 2030 we want to have reduced emissions by 49 per cent. We’re working hard right now to finalise a climate agreement.
Transport is responsible for 30 per cent of these emissions and can therefore make a vital contribution to reducing them.
The Netherlands wants the transport sector to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions by six to seven megatonnes in the next eleven years.
That’s quite a challenge, because mobility is expected to increase in the Netherlands in the next few years. We expect growth in both goods and passenger transport.
So we’ll need to transport more people and more goods while reducing carbon emissions!

How do we plan to do that?
It’s essential that every stakeholder knows where they stand and what they’re aiming for.
We need a compass to guide us. So in the past year I’ve met with all the stakeholders in the transport sector to find out what’s possible. The agreements we reached are an important pillar of the national climate agreement.
By 2030 we want every newly purchased car to be fully electric. That’s quite a challenge, but we’re convinced it’s possible.
In 2018, 6.5 per cent of all cars sold were electric.
In total, there are 142,000 plug-in hybrid and fully electric cars in the Netherlands.
Four years ago, there were 70,000.

Internationally, we’re among the frontrunners. But we still have a long way to go. People are put off by the price.
To persuade people to buy electric, we’ve introduced tax relief measures. And now we’re planning to introduce an electric car grant and measures to boost the second-hand market for electric cars.
We also need to improve the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles. Our aim is 1.7 million public and semi-public charging points by 2030.
We have a good starting position: with 90,000 private and 40,000 public and semi-public charging points, as well as 1,000 rapid charging points, we have the densest network in the world. That’s around one charging point for every electric car. But this is only a start. We need to take much larger steps.

What we want is:

  • to achieve a better synergy between home construction, mobility and sustainable energy.
  • to ensure that the electricity grid has the capacity to cope with increasing demand. With more electric cars on the roads, there will be a greater risk of outages.
  • We also need to make it easy to charge your car, everywhere in the Netherlands. So charging points must be accessible. We’re proud to say that you can use the same smart card at any charging station in the Netherlands.
  • Across the border, too, charging your car needs to be as easy as charging your phone. So we’re working with various EU countries to set up the same system.

What issues are we currently working on in the Netherlands?
There’s enormous demand for housing in the Netherlands. In the Randstad conurbation alone, the population is set to grow by half a million in the next ten years.


Wherever possible, we want to combine housing and transport development. To illustrate, last year we agreed deals with seven cities. They will pioneer electric car-sharing projects on new housing estates. New residents will be offered the use of a shared car with their new home.
These projects are innovative because the shared cars can store energy. This can be returned to the grid if necessary, for example at peak hours, after five in the afternoon. We’re planning to apply and test this smart grid technology on a wider scale. It’s already being used in Utrecht.
In the next few years, we also plan to move towards pro-active installation of charging infrastructure. At the moment, people with an electric car registered in their name can apply to have a charging point installed. This sometimes takes several months.
We want to speed this process up with a better strategy for choosing locations. So we’re asking municipalities in advance to designate locations for charging stations. This is faster and more efficient than installing them on request.
Smart charging will become the standard. We’re now seeing that demand for energy for transport is approaching the limits of capacity. So innovations like smart charging are urgently needed.

There’s plenty more I could say on this subject, but I’m more interested in your experiences, your issues and your solutions.
We’re all facing the same challenges. For all of us, this is the start of a new era. I know for certain that we all have plenty to gain by sharing each other’s knowledge and experience.
Thank you.