The Netherlands Becomes Sixth Country To Buy 100,000 Plug-in Vehicles

This month the Netherlands became the sixth country to buy its 100,000th plug-in electrified passenger vehicle.

The progressive nation of 17 million people recorded 99,945 units through October, and given its 800-1,500 monthly rate of plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicle sales, has by now crossed the milestone.

A favorite market of Tesla – almost half the EVs purchased there are by the California automaker – the Netherlands otherwise has a decided preference for plug-in hybrids.

Credit: Mariordo.

Credit: Mariordo.

The cumulative count through October is 86.2 percent gas-electric cars comprised of 86,162 range-extended and plug-in hybrid vehicles, 12,196 all-electric vehicles, and 1,587 all-electric light-duty vans. Counting all types of plug-ins, a total of 101,444 vehicles are on Dutch roads.

The outsized proportion of plug-in hybrids and extended-range EVs is quite the distinction from other markets including Norway which overwhelmingly prefers pure electric cars.

A Sales Peak, Then Slowing

The Netherlands has seen its enthusiastic purchasers rank it as high as number one in the European PEV market. This was in 2015 when it registered 43,971 light-duty plug-in vehicles for a market share of 9.7 percent. That was second only to Norway which saw 22.4 percent sales that year, and which is now over 25 percent.

Credit: Mariordo.

Credit: Mariordo.

That 44 percent of this month’s milestone was a blistering pace, but it was artificially stimulated as consumers rushed in the last two months of the year to take advantage of generous government incentives that were ending.

Now with lighter incentives still in place, the plug-in market share is a still-respectable 3.4 percent of new car sales.

For the first 10 months of this year, 10,827 plug-in cars were sold plus 127 electric vans.

Goal Setting

Late last decade, the Dutch government set the objective to have 15,000-20,000 plug-in electrified vehicles with three or more wheels on the road by 2015.

Credit: Brbbl.

Credit: Brbbl.

It met that goal in 2013, and now eyes much-more ambitious goals of 200,000 PEVs by 2020, and one million by 2025.

These targets are not just for passenger vehicles however, but also include the fuel-cell variety, buses, trucks, motorcycles, quadricycles, and tricycles.

Top Sellers

As noted plug-in gas-electric cars are all the rage, and so you’ll not be surprised to learn the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, with 24,825 cumulative total registered through October, is number one.

The Outlander PHEV has been popular nearly everywhere it’s been sold, and Mitsubishi, plagued by issues, has not imported it to the U.S. yet, though it says it will in 2017.

Credit: AxelBoldt.

Credit: AxelBoldt.

Actually, it’s just one of several more plug-in cars Europeans get that the U.S. does not.

Adding to the list of cars that buyers in the U.S. would like to have, but has been denied to date, is the Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid, ranked second at 15,015.

Another desirable but unavailable to the U.S. car, the VW Golf GTE plug-in hybrid is third place with 9,710.

The fourth best-seller is at last a car Americans can buy – indeed they are made here – and this is the Tesla Model S, with 5,681 cumulative sales. The Model X to date accounts for 250 sales, and the two EVs comprise 48.6 percent of the 12,196 EVs sold to date.

Fifth place goes to the Audi A3 e-tron with 5,227 units, and sixth is the Mercedes-Benz C350e, with 5,092.

Sixth To Buy 100,000

The Netherlands was on pace to hit 100,000 sooner, but the reduction in incentives saw it slow its pace, and Norway and France hit the mark sooner this year.

Other countries that have crossed 100,000 are the United States, China, and Japan. And, if California were considered its own country, it would be in the club also, as it is celebrating 250,000 this month.

As it is, the Netherlands has still a healthy uptake per capita and on a market percentage basis, and remains one of the strongest plug-in markets in the world.

Top Photo credit: MB-one.

Thanks to Mario R. Duran for help with data.