City of Amsterdam case study
With road transport seen as a major contributor to climate change and city air pollution, vehicle electrification is expected to play a leading role in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and preserving our environment. The city of Amsterdam recognised this early and has made efforts to lead the world in the transition to electric transportation.
At a glance – Overview of the EV infrastructure of Amsterdam contributing to the city’s overall energy transition.
- Vattenfall provides the city of Amsterdam with all its public electric vehicle (EV) charging facilities.
- With over 2,800 charge points, and more planned, this is the largest municipal charging network in Europe.
- We support the city’s drive to promote green-energy transport by powering all our charge points with 100% renewable electricity generated by our wind turbines.
The city introduced its first public charging stations in 2009. The initial adoption rate of electric vehicles (EVs) was low, even though there were tax incentives in place, so it was proposed to provide public charging stations to raise confidence in electric vehicle driving and increase the speed of adoption. The collaboration between Amsterdam and Vattenfall began in 2015. We introduced a small test network to monitor EV usage patterns and fine-tune the system to meet strict accessibility and security requirements. Since then, thousands of charge points have been successfully rolled out across Amsterdam, servicing over 25,000 unique users per month.
Electric transport is starting to mature in Amsterdam, and by 2025 everyone should be able to drive emission-free.
Abdeluheb Choho, Alderman of Sustainability, Public Space, ICT of Amsterdam
Strict requirements to deliver smooth charging
The city of Amsterdam stipulates strict requirements on the standardisation of charge points and accessing different charging subscriptions. The method deployed ensures the interoperability of charging stations, guaranteeing that any car can be charged at any station, regardless of the operator you signed up with. To make electric driving the natural choice of its citizen, Amsterdam has set a maximum price that suppliers are allowed to charge EV drivers. This has helped to raise trust and offer peace of mind to EV drivers.
Learning from experience and Smart charging
From the analysis of its charging stations data, Amsterdam has been able to evaluate its EV infrastructure services and determine areas of improvement. City usage patterns produce valuable, quantitative input for decision making on future expansion of the network. The efficiency of charging stations is being evaluated in a view to reduce the time that users are connected when they are not charging their vehicle. The city built an app for users to interact with each other and make arrangements on the use of charging points as well as to check availability.
Grid availability and smart charging
The city of Amsterdam has partnered with an energy supplier (Vattenfall), a grid operator, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and an innovation centre to manage the congestion of the electricity grid. In partnership, we work to ensure mass EV charging using flexible charging speeds and that the city’s energy needs are fully met with renewable sources. Amsterdam is reviewing its current EV charging stations infrastructure to ensure they are smart and future proof. A smart charging station balances supply and demand, adjusting the speed of energy transfer from the grid to EVs automatically. When demand is low, cars charge relatively quickly. The charging rate becomes slower when demand is at its peak. This helps regulate the energy flow at peak times and avoid an excessive surge on the power supply. Smart charging also supports Vattenfall’s policy of using renewable energy. In the near future, the charging speed will depend on weather conditions (faster charging when the sun shines and/or the wind blows). The aim is for all EVs to be charged more efficiently.
One supplier, reduced costs
Vattenfall provides the city of Amsterdam with both its district heating – connecting some 80,000 households and businesses - and the city’s EV charging infrastructure. One of the key benefits of a single company owning a network’s energy sources as well as the pipework and associated equipment, is that it can more efficiently match electricity and heat generation and demand – and that means enhanced efficiency, reduced emissions and lower costs to the consumer.
2025 and beyond
Amsterdam’s goal is to be carbon emission-free from 2025. The city has installed a selection of standard fast (<22 kWh) and several rapid (50 kWh) EV charging stations to create an efficient infrastructure. The city is now looking into developing charging hubs, multiple charging stations in one location using one network connection. The optimised installation process and data analysis will allow Amsterdam to meet the growing need for charging facilities.
Canterbury and Norfolk Frameworks
We partnered with Canterbury and South Norfolk councils to install public charging stations powered by UK wind farms.