The cost of electric vehicles is an undeserved bump in the road

Many people still believe that driving an electric car or scooter is more expensive than driving a conventional vehicle. But that is not the case: driving an electric car is cheaper per kilometre driven. This is one of the findings of Dennis de Wit, who did his graduation internship at Partners for Innovation. “The price of purchase is one of the main reasons people don’t want to buy an electric vehicle”, he states. Currently, there are no financial incentives for the private individual that help consider a purchase. But, he says, this is probably the most effective way to encourage a breakthrough.


In the city of Amsterdam 600,000 people use their car every day to get to work. This presents a big opportunity for the city council to promote electric driving and achieve sustainability goals. Worldwide, the city of Amsterdam is known to be a pioneer in encouraging electric mobility, by integrating charging points. However, there are some obstacles. Dennis researched the challenges and opportunities, looking at commuters in Amsterdam.


When you look at the emission of nitrogen oxide (NOₓ) and fine particulates, you’ll find that scooters take up a big part. Scooters emit nearly ten times (!) more than a normal size car. Buses pollute four times as much and trams/metros only 0,38 times. If commuters decide to swap their conventional scooter for an electric one they would make a major contribution to the electric transition.

Driving electric is cheaper

So, what can the city council do? Dennis has 4 recommendations:

  • Spread the message (better) that the cost of electric driving is eventually lower than conventional driving.
  • Currently, the main target is the corporate market. Are there any financial instruments thinkable that give private individuals a little push?
  • Delivery vans are a fast growing business. See this as an opportunity to make arrangements about going electric.
  • Look at energy sources. At this moment, a mere 5% of our electricity is generated sustainably. This has to improve in order for electric driving to become completely sustainable.

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Second photo: GOVECS electric scooters