E-Mobility in the Southern Part of Limburg (NL)

The first concrete spin-off project of ENEVATE is the foreseen roll-out of an e-car sharing pilot in the southern part of Limburg. The target of this pilot is to bring 15 e-vehicles on the road and accordingly the roll-out of necessary infrastructure, including financial model.

The focus of the second spin-off project is on supporting the roll-out of a charging network. Increasing the quality and density of charging networks is a major ambition of the Dutch national government. However, for the province of Limburg, due to its more spreadout city and rural characteristics, the network will differ from the (mainly public) network in large inner cities. A strategic approach for the roll-out of charging infrastructure is necessary to be able to drive in e-vehicles in this region. The basis for this strategic approach is the ENEVATE toolkit on charging infrastructure.

E-Car Sharing in Southern Limburg

E-car sharing is a proven concept in e.g. Paris (Autolib) and Amsterdam (car2go), two metropolitan regions with multiple million inhabitants, short distances to be covered and sufficient infrastructure to embed a high numbers of e-cars.

The number of car sharing initiatives in the Netherlands has increased by 86% between 2010 and 20131. In March 2014 more than 11.000 vehicles are included in one of the car sharing schemes in The Netherlands2. Car sharing scheme Snappcar is successful in urban region Randstad and a good example of the fact that urbanisation and growing demand or mobility increased the demand for new mobility solutions. More and more lease companies and car sharing schemes are adopting e-vehicles in their fleet. There is a rapid development of (e-)car sharing in The Netherlands, France, UK  and Germany.

Critical success factors of the current successful (e-)car sharing programmes are an application in dense urban areas and high number of vehicles and infrastructure (availability). Due to the dense network of vehicles and infrastructure, a structured back office organisation and user system is critical. E-car sharing seems to be a success formula for large metropolitan areas, complementary to public transport, aiming at reducing the number of cars in the city. (E-)car sharing in rural areas seems to be complex because of less density in population and higher distances in average between different relevant locations. On the other hand there is less public transport in rural areas which causes mobility needs with (e-)car sharing as possible solution.

Pilot Southern Limburg

The region of Southern Limburg was selected as pilot area. Because the situation in Southern Limburg is different from Paris and Amsterdam; much smaller population, much lower congestion problems almost no parking problems. Also the geographical conditions are different. Although the three regional urban areas are surrounded by mainly very rural and touristic areas the population density is high. There are large employers, but limited in numbers. The availability of public transport is limited, too. The air quality is sometimes poor because of industrial areas and the environment is hilly which makes cycling not a popular alternative. Thus the car is the most important transport in Southern Limburg.

In the different municipalities the key characteristics inhabitants per square kilometre, inhabitants per municipality, company registrations, possession of private cars, semipublic and institute locations and touristic hotspots are mapped in graphic and figures. The intensity of these characteristics per municipality shows were mobility is needed, as this indicates where people live and where they need to go for work or leisure. Already after this first part of the study the first results showed a difference between rural and urban areas. Relative high possession of cars, 1.8 per household of 3 persons, compared to 0,8 in the province where Amsterdam is situated. The last 25 years the car park in Southern Limburg grew by 43%. Although the target region is typically a rural area, it is quite dense populated with 941 persons per square kilometre.

As second part of the case study, the mobility patterns in the region are mapped. The availability of public transport, overview of the current infrastructure and monitoring report of unique transport movements of passenger cars3 were studied. This part of the study shows that 89% of all unique single trips within the region are from, to or between the three urban areas in the region.

An interesting fact is that 60% of all unique trips are for leisure or private purpose. 10,7% is for business trips, 29,3% is commuting. On average, 37% of the vehicles commuting to work might be used for business trips as well, which means that currently 63% of the vehicles is not moving during daytime.

The average single trip from cars within the three urban areas is rather short: 17 kilometres. Based on the input from potential users in average a vehicle will be used twice a day. 68 kilometres in average each day. Potential users also mentioned, that an average price of €0,27 per kilometre makes it economically interesting to shift to e-vehicles. Thus a car should drive around 18.000 kilometres each year to make it economic feasible.

A study on other, existing e-car sharing schemes4, both rural and urban, learned that success and feasibility will be based on three subjects: technical feasibility, organizational feasibility and financial/economic feasibility (including environmental impact). The critical success factors here sufficient coverage, a dense fleet, enough capacity and reliability.

Conclusions E-Car Sharing

The challenge and key to success is to create alternatives for commuting, sharing the e-vehicles during day and evening, shared cars in company fleets resulting in private and business economisation. A second result is the environmental impact. The feasibility will be proved via a pilot project, which started in September 2014 with Nissan Leafs. The first ten Nissan Leafs will be on the road since October 2014, applied at public-private institutes and local governments. They will use the cars during daytime as corporate cars, in the evening and at the weekend the cars are available for citizens as well.

The pilot grows to 15 vehicles by the end of 2014. Stepwise the current pilot (branded as eCARSHARE) should grow to a regional e-car sharing programme, where in the end a commercial or public organization should take responsibility for the regional e-car sharing programme.

Strategic approach for charging infrastructure in Limburg (NL)

One of the key objectives to make e-mobility happen is to accelerate the development of sustainable EV charging infrastructure. In this aim the ENEVATE partnership developed a charging infrastructure toolkit5 which helps project managers to learn from projects in the past and avoid some of the potential pitfalls.

The base line of this approach is to think strategic and thoroughly before start planning, implementation and operation of charging infrastructure. In the tool kit structure the basis for decision making is the strategy and design column. In the strategy and design phase it is important to define objectives, scope and high level infrastructure development/operating model.

Objectives and scope will be influenced by policies, funding requirements and longer term aspirations. This phase  also requires consideration of the relationships between the project and any strategic partners since these relationships will influence the delivery and operating models. In the charging infrastructure project in Southern Limburg (NL) we made some extensions to the decision tool of ENEVATE. These extensions are relevant for decision making projects on charging infrastructure in other regions in Europe.

Caused by the fiscal stimulation of the Dutch National government there is a steep uptake of (PH) e-vehicles in The Netherlands. Since early 2013 the total (PH) e-vehicles on the Dutch roads has increased from 7.000 to almost 40.000 vehicles.6 In the Province of Limburg the number of (PH) e-vehicles increased from 72 vehicles in June 2012 to 1.280 in June 20147 on average an even higher increase % of (PH) e-vehicles compared to the Dutch average as a total.

There was already a charging infrastructure in the region realised by the Dutch National E-laad initiative, but from January 2013 until June 2014 the relation between (PH) e-vehicles and charging points increased from 1:1 to 5:1. Commercial initiatives to set up charging infrastructure for e-vehicles do not exist yet in the region of Southern Limburg, because it is not dense enough.

Because of the increase of e-vehicle users in the region the cities of Southern Limburg have to decide what policies they have to introduce for the next steps in realisation of public charging infrastructure.


The objective of the project in Southern Limburg is to determine a joint vision, aim, strategy and implementation approach for charging infrastructure based on the definition of clear target groups and stakeholders. The aim is to design a futureproof infrastructure were public and private (commercial) charging possibilities are well coordinated on logical spots in the region.


To be able to set up a strategy and design of a future proof charging infrastructure the approach within the ENEVATE  tool for infrastructure was the basis for the region of Southern Limburg.

Extension: Socio-economic analysis of e-vehicles-owners

During the analysis phase this approach was extended by including a socio-economic analysis on the e-vehicles-owners which needed charging infrastructure in public areas. The basis for this analysis was the Mosaic-model with more than 40 household typologies.

The Mosaic model has been built up by a large database of more than 7 million Dutch households.

Based on the socio-economic analyses main conclusions were that e-vehicles-drivers do have an income above modal and are higher educated. More conclusions were drawn on social and behavioural aspects. The dominant main groups of e-vehicles-drivers in Southern Limburg based on the Mosaic model are the D14-group.

Expectations for future e-vehicles-drivers in the region are being build up based on these two Mosaic household groups. The ‘darkblue spots’ on the regional map are very helpful for the cities and villages for their policy making process and for other stakeholders to set up expectations for their business model (see picture above).

Extension: analysis of user charging behavior

Another extension of the ENEVATE decision model during the analysis phase was a user approach based on charging behaviour of e-vehicles-drivers. We defined eight different charging typologies based on user behavior at different locations where they live, sleep, work and recreate.

Based on these typologies we were able to define key stakeholders which have a motivation to build or invest in charging infrastructure on these specific public and/ or private locations.

Conclusions charging infrastructure

Based on the analyses of households, charging typologies and stakeholders, gap analysis between current charging infrastructure and optimal charging infrastructure has been set up. This gap analysis is the basis for the joint vision and strategy of the municipalities in the region and give them the opportunity to stimulate the defined stakeholders to invest
in charging infrastructure. This will result in a model in which companies, public authorities as well as service organisations altogether will plan, implement and operate a charging infrastructure which is futureproof, sustainable and fits the demands of the e-vehicles drivers in the region.

A strategy and design of futureproof charging infrastructure is the basis for implementation and operation with shared responsibilities of different stakeholders. A cooperation model based on business cases and different futureproof solutions for different charging typologies will be the case in this rural region.

Next steps

Based on this cooperation model the project will go on to the second phase in the ENEVATE tool kit structure, which is the project planning phase. During stakeholder meetings decisions are going to be made about details of locations, finance and identification of all factors that will need to be managed through the delivery phase (implementation). The planning phase within Southern Limburg will last until end 2014. The aim is to start implementing futureproof charging infrastructure from early 2015, which also involves an update of the already existing and relevant infrastructure when necessary.

Future developments in Limburg

Other regions within Limburg decided to join the strategy and design approach on charging infrastructure. Since October 2014 a total of 21 municipalities go through this process of analysis and decision making. Planning is that all these municipalities will have a future proof strategy on charging infrastructure in the first half of 2015 and start implementing in the second half of 2015. Many of these municipalities are also enthusiastic about the e-car sharing pilot which can lead to more vehicles in the pilot during the coming months and to the same synergies between e-car sharing and charging infrastructure policy.

Finally, a cross border initiative between the government of North-Rhine-Westphalia and The Netherlands is organising stakeholder workshops in October and November 2014 with the aim to work together in a strategic approach on e-mobility based on the tools and experiences of ENEVATE.


1. Snelle opkomst onderling autodelen, Friso Metz, Kennisplatform Verkeer en Vervoer, 2013.
2. Autodelen: ‘wordt de markt volwassen?’, TNS NIPO, 2014.
3. Unique transport movements of passenger cars are mapped by cluster mobility at Province of Limburg.
4. Benchmark programs: Autolib (F), Car2Go (NL), E-tour Allgau (Ger) and CarClubs (UK) 2013.
5. Electric Vehicle charging infrastructure toolkit, ENEVATE 2011.
6. Figures Electric vehicles on the road, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland (rvo.nl), July 2014.
7. Special uptake electric vehicles in the different Dutch Provinces, Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, July 2014.