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Netherlands receives EU boost to electric vehicle upgrade plans


The European Commission has allocated nearly €33m of funding to support the development of electric vehicle charging infrastructure across the Netherlands.
The announcement, made yesterday, states the aid will be used to support the installation and operation of charging stations for electric vehicles, in a move designed to promote sustainable transport and improve air quality.

Funding will be distributed under the Dutch government’s Green Deal scheme, which allows local authorities to fund green projects using a mixture of state aid, local public funding, and private investment.
The commission states the money is in compliance with EU State Aid laws as it does not disproportionately distort competition in the market, with the competitive bidding process expected to ensure costs are kept to a minimum.
Margrethe Vestager, commissioner in charge of competition, said the aid would increase the viability of electric vehicles.
"Electric cars can provide real benefits to society by reducing carbon dioxide emissions, pollution and noise," she said. "The Dutch public support scheme approved today will help make electric cars a viable alternative to citizens in the Netherlands by providing the necessary infrastructure, whilst keeping costs under control in line with EU state rules."
Authorities that apply will be selected through competitive processes, which will be available up until July 2018, with the European Commission reviewing the scheme each year to ensure the costs of operating and installing the charging points are reflected in the aid granted.
The announcement comes a month after the Hague District Court ordered the Dutch government to reduce overall emissions by 25 per cent by 2020, after losing a landmark case. Campaigners argued ministers were not implementing sufficiently ambitious policies capable of effectively limiting emissions.