Encouraging private use of electric vehicles

The aim of this study was to project the number and market share of privately owned electric cars in 2020 if a purchase subsidy on new electric vehicles and a charging credit for second-hand (semi-)electric cars were to be introduced. The background was a request by the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs following publication of the report ‘Make Electric Driving Great’, which makes recommendations to encourage consumer purchase of electric cars.

The study shows that introducing a purchase subsidy or a charging credit would lead to an increase in the number of privately owned new and second-hand electric vehicles (EVs). The extent of the increase is very unclear, however, and with our current knowledge this estimate is far from reliable. This is due mainly to the fact that little is known about the price sensitivity of today’s EV buyers. In addition, the autonomous growth of new privately owned EVs and the scale of export of second-hand EVs is very hard to predict. The effects estimated in this study should be seen as a first, tentative attempt to assess the effectiveness of government financial support for electric vehicles.