It's not all peaceful windmills and gorgeous tulips in the Netherlands. There's fighting on the plug-in vehicle front. Dutch gas-station owners are taking a less-then beatific-attitude to the country's recent agreement to expand its network of electric-vehicle charging stations. In short, they're suing.
Owners of 26 gas stations are taking the Dutch government to court, saying that the more than 200 charging stations earmarked for the country's highways qualify as "refueling" centers, the Netherlands' NOS reports. As a result, those stations, which get government incentives and may be able to open shops, represent what the gas-station owners say is unfair competition, especially if they pull business from existing stations.
In 2011, the Dutch government chose a company called Fastned to set up a charging infrastructure with more than 200 stations, giving all of the country's nearly 17 million inhabitants access to a public outlet within a 30-mile drive. Fastned recently tapped ABB, the world's largest maker of power-transmission gear, to supply the chargers, which will start being installed in September.
While the Netherlands' EV market is considered nascent relative to countries like the US, the government is trying to expand adoption through programs such as EV-purchase incentives and the provision of free charging in cities like Amsterdam.