Electric driving: the future of driving
The Netherlands is the frontrunner when it comes to driving electric cars, according to research by consultancy firm ARCADIS. There is a wide range of various car models available that are electric and this number continues to grow. In addition, owning an electric car is quite affordable.
This wide range of electric car models was set at 183 models by the end of 2021. 21 of these models were made available to consumers in 2021. Every year, major car brands release more electric models, which means that the market is growing and electric driving becomes accessible to many more people.
A growing number of car brands that enable electric driving
There are already a large number of car brands that make driving electric cars possible. Renault, Nissan, Volkswagen and Kia have already launched many models on the market. In 2012, Tesla presented their well-known Model S, the first electric car that was considered high-quality. This model quickly grew in popularity and in 2015 the car was crowned the world’s best-selling electric car.
More expensive car brands, including Audi, Mercedes and Volvo, have also joined the production of electric cars. Cars that run entirely on electricity can be found in many price categories. For example, people already drive a Renault E-Tech Electric from around €21,000, an amount that many are willing to pay for an electric car.
High lithium prices for car manufacturers
In recent years there has been a strong increase in the demand for electric cars. An ever-growing group of people is realizing the importance and usefulness of electric driving, where people were initially skeptical. This puts pressure on automakers to produce more.
However, this turns out to be difficult in practice. Electric cars are powered by electricity from a battery, a battery with a considerably long life that is extremely environmentally friendly. These batteries are made from the alkali metal lithium. Lithium is mainly extracted from rocks. This method is expensive, which is why it is regularly chosen to extract the element from salt water.
Prices of many commodities have recently risen immensely and lithium is not available in abundance. Within the first two weeks of 2021, the price for lithium has already increased by 13%, after ending at 400% in 2020. This makes it difficult for car manufacturers to obtain this raw material from which their batteries are produced. As a result, the production of electric cars is gradually coming to a standstill and the balance between supply and demand is increasingly disrupted.
Expanding fast chargers within Europe
In addition to the problems that car manufacturers are experiencing with regard to the supply of lithium, there are also some areas for improvement for electric driving. For example, a large proportion of electric car drivers indicate that there are too few fast chargers along the roads in other parts of Europe. The Netherlands is a frontrunner, with more than 600 charging stations and more than 80,000 charging points for electric cars. In other countries within Europe, these numbers are much lower. Going on holiday with an electric car therefore causes some problems.
In November 2021, a number of major car manufacturers therefore joined forces to change this. Ford, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Hyundai and Volkswagen have jointly invested an amount of 700 million euros until 2025 for the construction of more fast chargers.
Fastned, a Dutch company that is big in fast chargers for electric cars, has also invested in the meantime. By 2021, this company had built 164 fast charging stations in various countries within Europe. Fastned is currently building these charging points in France.
Planning to drive electric?
Despite this, the Netherlands is still the best when it comes to electric driving. With an extensive choice of models and many charging points on the roads, driving an electric car is no problem at all. Various car companies make driving an electric car easy and can provide you with advice and information about all kinds of electric models.