A visitor to this Dutch capital city also soon recognizes it as the electric vehicle taxi capital of the world.
The growing trend in EVs as public transport saves businesses money and helps Amsterdam and Holland meet sustainability goals, while reducing air pollution.
“In 2011, we started Taxi Electric being the first fully-electric taxi company in Amsterdam,” says Taxi Electric co-founder Edvard Hendriksen. “We started this company because we wanted to have a major impact in this city.”
And it has. Taxi Electric’s three LEAF vehicles have grown into a fleet of 22. Hendriksen said local and national subsidies for EVs – a total of 10,000 euro per vehicle – and the lower cost of maintenance and electricity reduces the cost per kilometer compared with standard taxis. “Apparently we had a good idea three years back, because other companies are seeing the potential in EV taxis,” says Hendriksen.
TCA now has fifty e-NV200 vehicles as part of their fleet of 1,300 taxis. Chief Financial Officer Richard van der Veen says TCA’s EV program, now in its second month, is steadily gaining attention, resulting in more trips and profit for drivers. “Sustainability is a big issue for TCA and we try to make models for our drivers to make also sustainability profitable…The demand for electric vehicles and zero emission vehicles will be much bigger. We think it’s the future,” he says. TCA driver Atilla Selcuk says customers are taking notice. “The electric car is very good, it’s very smooth and you don’t hear any noise, any sound, and that’s why a lot of customers like it and we drivers like it, too. The car is very practical because I can fit four people inside and I can fit a lot of luggage…And it’s quite easy to charge. It’s click and play.”Selcuk says he easily charges during short breaks to about 80 percent.
Holland has the highest density of charging stations. Each month the city adds 25 new charging points, aiming for a total of 4,000 in 2018. It is all part of Amsterdam’s goal to be emission-free by 2025.
Connexxion, Europe’s largest public transport company, just purchased one-hundred e-NV200 vehicles. “This sustainability agenda is not just ours. We see with government and local communities that cities want to switch over to more sustainability, and by delivering an active approach that we are able to win more contracts,” says Connexxion CEO Bart Schmeink. As with any vehicle, it boils down to savings. In the coming year, Connexxion will also save on 200,000 liters of diesel and reduce CO2 emissions by 417 tons, which he says are important gains for the fleet.
“Nissan is not only a manufacturer of cars but is a strategic partner able to think with us in the longer term how we do fleet management as Connexxion.”
It is these kinds of partnerships that will allow Amsterdam and Holland to reach its sustainability goals and reduce local air pollution, says Michiel Hartman. For five years, he has advocated for more EV-friendly infrastructure as chairman of the Dutch Organization for Electric Transportation.
“EV is the best solution for local pollution,” says Hartman. “You need to have a good plan to make your city smart and sustainable…The strength of the Netherlands is that the local governments and the central government work together with industry and that’s the only way to get a step forward in EV. EVs are a sustainable necessity, they’re also a business opportunity, and they’re also fun. That’s what we like.”