The Netherlands and California: partners in electric transport
The Netherlands met with representative from California and proposed the state to invest in the innovation of electric vehicles. This is the outcome of the meeting between Minister Lilianne Ploumen (Foreign Trade and Development) with Michael Rossi, Senior Jobs Advisor to the Governor of California. The Dutch Government would like to develop an Electric Vehicle Investment Fund (EVIF). Ploumen: 'Electric cars can still be so much more efficient and practical. Investments are needed, and we ask that The Netherlands, California and businesses do this together.'
The Dutch plan is to invest €24 million in the EVIF, €6 million by the Netherlands, and has proposed California to help them identify investment companies to match with €12 million. The economic mission with 31 companies and research institutes which is led by Minister Ploumen also visited Zero Motorcycles, a manufacturer of electric motorcycles, as well as EVGrid, a company that connects electric cars to the electricity network. "The commitment to a more sustainable economy and society here, is very large. The combination of knowledge and approach of Dutch and US companies can, with the support of both governments, yield great value, "said the Minister.
Water and energy
Economic relations between the Netherlands and California -the seventh largest economy in the world- run already into billions of euros. According to Ploumen this can increase further, "The Netherlands and California seem a bit similar: a densely populated area with a knowledge economy. Both here as well in Netherlands innovation and smart solutions to social challenges are highly valued. The Innovation Fund for electric cars is a good example."
The Minister today opened the 'California-Netherlands Sustainability Summit, a major seminar on water and energy. They also met in Silicon Valley with the board of the high-tech company Cisco, she spoke with Environment Minister Matt Rodriquez of California and visited the solar energy company Sungevity, which also operates in the Netherlands.
After San Francisco Minister Ploumen travels to Arkansas where she speaks to the top of the supermarket chain Walmart. They have invited her to explain her vision and initiatives in the area of corporate social responsibility (CSR). Walmart is the largest retailer in the world, many of the items come from low-wage countries where working conditions, remuneration and living conditions of workers are often inadequate.