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In May, I wrote about Better Place, an Israeli company that has been setting up battery-swap stations for electric vehicles throughout the country.  Now it’s Amsterdam’s turn to lead the charge, albeit with a more conventional approach to charging.  According to the New York Times article, “the number of plug-in electric vehicles in the Netherlands soared eightfold to about 7,500 last year, and charging posts dot the sidewalks.”

Yet, even in Amsterdam — a city mired in environmental activism — sales have been lower than automakers and politicians had hoped.  Even with the increased accessibility to charging stations, there is an element of route planning that is absent with a traditional gas-fueled vehicle.  To make matters more complex, the lack of a uniform business model when it comes to charging networks (similar to different cell phone service providers) makes universal charging tricky.

In Denmark, however, compared to the United States, electric cars do have a few things working in their favor: incredibly high gas prices (due to years of high gas taxes) and the incentive of being taxed nothing on a new electric vehicle, as opposed to up to 200% of the sticker price on conventional luxury cars.  I guess it really all comes down to what Mr. Jensen, of the European Environment Agency, said regarding electric vehicles: “the most important thing is that you can use it wherever you go.”

Read the entire NY Times article here.