back to article EU graciously lets Dutch splurge €33m on 'leccy car charger network

The Netherlands is to fork out nearly €33m in public funds for electric car chargers after the European Commission gave its permission for the plan to go ahead on Monday. EU Competition Commish Margrethe Vestager said that the plans were within EU state aid rules and would not unduly distort competition, adding that “electric …

  1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Netherlands

    electric cars can provide real benefits to society by reducing CO2 emissions, pollution and noise.

    Really? In a country where almost 80% of electricity is generated by coal and gas?

    1. Cynic_999 Silver badge

      Re: Netherlands

      "

      Really? In a country where almost 80% of electricity is generated by coal and gas?

      "

      Yes, because power stations are more efficient and produce less pollution per unit energy that a car engine - even after taking into account the conversion and transmission losses. Not that I agree that this is the best way to splurge money.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Netherlands

        Did they really say CO<sup>2</sup> not CO<sub>2</sub>?

        If so a [sic] is required.

      2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: Netherlands

        "more efficient and produce less pollution per unit energy that a car engine"

        Really? I thought modern turbo diesels were pretty much a match for most power station, but I don't have the numbers. Do you? Also what about the extra mass of the battery to throw around, or is that largely covered by regenerative braking?

        As an aside, recently I saw my first electric charging station in the UK. It had three bloody cables since the ass-hat manufacturers have not standardised on one. A 43kW AC one, and two 50kW DC ones. Why?

        Mind you, a typical UK main supply fuse is 100A, so a home supply could provide at most 23kW.

        1. Phuq Witt
          Unhappy

          Charging Stations

          "...As an aside, recently I saw my first electric charging station in the UK..."

          Ironically, I've got two separate charging stations, both within about ten minutes walk of my house. But I've yet to see an electric car.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Netherlands

      You know what the Netherlands could do with then? Some windmills.

      Oh? Really? WELL then.

      Tide energy I expect is a sore point...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Netherlands

      it really is about more than CO2.. its not the CO2 that kills. Vehicles produce many more toxins that are much more harmful and they produce them at street level where you and your kids dwell. Power stations have scrubbers and electrostatic precipitators and emit in less occupied spaces.

  2. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Home chargers?

    How many people have their own drive ways so they can use a home charger? Most cars I see are parked in the street, so that is not going to happen.

    OK, maybe for high-end cars like the Tesla folk might be in luxury homes with their own drive, but certainly not for the mass of cars in current use.

    1. Bertie D'astard

      Re: Home chargers?

      The problem I had is my private drive is so long it was a question of how to get the cable from the west wing of the house near to where I park without spoiling the view of the rose garden. Still, absolutely love my Tesla :-)

  3. Clive Harris

    I think the electricity at the Supercharger station comes free

    I'm not sure what arrangements Tesla made fo the Netherlands, but in other countries you don't have to pay for the electricity you use at a Supercharger station - it's included in the price of the car. Although I doubt if anyone who can afford a Tesla is going to be looking too closely at his electricity bill!

    1. Ru'

      Re: I think the electricity at the Supercharger station comes free

      "it's included in the price of the car" really? Surely you mean it's included in the country's tax bill.

      1. Keith Oborn

        Re: I think the electricity at the Supercharger station comes free

        In the UK the Ecotricity network is free to use at all motorway service stations and a range of other locations. Consider that the electricity costs less than the profit on a cup of coffee, and you'll be there 20 minutes. I think the Tesla system has similar economics. No tax subsidies involved, or at least if there are they are hidden way in the background of the various companies involved. But it's a convenience, the normal use pattern for the car is like a mobile phone, you mostly plug it in at home.

        As for co2 efficiency, the UK average for electricity is 527g/kwh, and on my Nissan Leaf that means 527g for 4.7 miles, so about the same as a modern smallish diesel.

        BUT, there are two correction factors:

        Most journeys are short, and the diesel (and indeed petrol) car will do a lot worse under those circumstances. Got to heat that big lump of metal up! Not to mention all the non-co2 pollutants, which in a power station are much easier to control. Note the current furore about diesel particulates in cities.

        Also, it's easy to get your electricity from a renewable supplier - indeed, part of the point of the Ecotricity charger network is to market their other products. Or if you can, put in your own solar.

        On street parking is a problem, but in time that too can be addressed over time.

        Vandalism is a problem, but as someone observed, vandalising a 50kw car charger gives you about the same chance of a Darwin Award as putting a lighted match to a petrol pump. Petrol stations rarely get their pumps vandalised.

        As for charge socket types, yes, stupid. Blame the US car industry. The Japanese chademo socket was well established, but the US decided that is was "insufficiently functional" and insisted on a different standard to block imports. Really, it's not that different from what's happened with petrol and diesel. How many different types of fuel have been available over the years? 2 star, 4 star, unleaded 95, unleaded 98, standard diesel, agricultural diesel, "marketing dept super", etc. Some are cross compatible, some not---.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Getting to be a pretty normal sight in the Netherlands

    I've lived just outside Amsterdam the last 5 years and these road side charging poles are becoming a familiar sight along with electric cars (I just wish they would give the electric cars a "noise" at the moment they eerily cruise along totally silent), the Amsterdam area is pretty viciously anti car anyway compared to the UK (although a lot of people get cars from work), the insurance and tax involved in owning a car is high and the public transport is good enough that a car isn't a necessity (average wait at peak is 5 minutes growing to around 10 at weekends), also the vandalism is much lower than you get in the UK so they don't have to keep repairing or replacing stuff like this.

    The Netherlands has an entirely different mindset where transport is concerned whereas the UK is determined to follow the US model, and all the problems that creates, this will work in the Netherlands, in the UK our portly jag owning MP's will look at this idea like it is something weird and alien (look at the bike initiatives in London, ludicrously inept) unless they can see a way to make money out of it.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The ignorance spewed by politicians is laughable

    Take a look at the toxic batteries used in EVs and the disposal or recycling issues and ask yourself if these vehicles are as environmentally friendly as they are made out to be. Hint: they are not. If EVs were practical then free enterprise would build recharging stations just as free enterprise built petrol stations. Governments should not be subsidizing EVs under the guise of reduced pollution when you consider the entire life cycle of an EV from creation to grave. The home recharging system overheating/fire issues along with the documented battery and accident fires are a definite safety hazard.

    1. IanDs

      Re: The ignorance spewed by ACs is laughable

      AC, try looking at some reliable verified numbers instead of rehashing Internet twaddle. Even allowing for the entire lifecycle of electric cars (including construction and disposal/recycling), their CO2 burden is a lot lower than IC cars -- for example, look at the real numbers in SEWTHO. Recharging and battery fires (including in accidents) are a hazard, but a much smaller one than using petrol. The well-to-wheel economy of electric cars is a lot better than IC engines, and even more so compared to the stupidly inefficient hydrogen/fule cell proposals. Even if the electricity comes from fossil fuels, the overall pollution of EVs is a lot lower than IC engines, and is better filtered and not on the street.

      Yes they're still expensive, have more limited range, take longer to refill even at supercharger stations, and would put a big load on the grid if everyone used them. These disadvantages have to be compared to the CO2 and street pollution savings, quietness, and performance. They're not for everybody, but for some the advantages are compelling, and the number of people who this is true for will only go up in the future.

  6. Alan Denman

    10 times faster to be written off too?

    Tesla will love it, fast charging the ideal way to sell new packs due to premature failure

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