Speech staatssecretaris Van Veldhoven bij ondertekening van Benelux Declaration of Intent on cross-border electric driving.

Staatssecretaris Van Veldhoven (IenW) sprak op 7 december 2017 in Den Haag bij de ondertekening van de Benelux Declaration of Intent on cross-border electric driving.

De toespraak is alleen in het Engels beschikbaar. Alleen het gesproken woord geldt.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Welcome to The Hague!

I’m especially delighted to welcome:

  • Bart Tommelein, Flemish Vice-Minister-President   and Minister for Budget, Finance and Energy;
  • Camille Gira, Secretary of State for Sustainable   Development and Infrastructure of Luxembourg, and;
  • Marc Clairbois, Wallonia-Brussels General Delegate  in The Hague;
  • Stefan Meers (Open Chargepoint, Belgium);
  • Jurjen de Jong (eViolin, the Netherlands), and;
  • Alex Michels (Chargy, Luxembourg).

Today we’re going to make cross-border electric driving easier. With this declaration of intent, we’re sending out a clear message: we need to clean up transport and mobility. Fast.

Our ultimate goal is zero-emission transport. Because that is key to achieving the climate ambitions agreed in Paris. Zero-emission transport means fewer greenhouse gas emissions, clean air and less noise pollution.

We’re glad to be working with Belgium and Luxembourg on the next big step towards the future of driving. Electric cars are becoming mainstream.
That’s good. But we need to remove several obstacles. We want to be able to charge our electric car wherever we are – at home or abroad. So we need to be able to use our provider’s card or app at any charging point, at home or abroad. And the cost of charging our car needs to be clear, at  every charging point.

At present, this is not always the case. So that’s something we need to fix. Fast.

If we want everyone to drive zero-emission vehicles, or ZEVs, we need to make it easier. At home and abroad.

We need to make electric driving more appealing. So that the community of ZEV drivers will grow.

We’re signing this declaration of intent, because we want to create a transboundary electric transport network of three neighbouring countries.
The first one ever.

With a public charging infrastructure that’s accessible to all ZEV drivers;

With e-roaming payment systems that accept any service provider card or app;

And fair, transparent charging rates for all customers.

So wherever you are in Belgium, Luxembourg or the Netherlands, you’ll be able to plug in your car and pay for a charging session with your own card or app.

It’s not all that surprising, perhaps. If there’s 1 region where cooperation comes naturally to everyone, it’s the Benelux.

And our 3 countries are pioneers in electric driving. We account for 1 quarter of all plug-in hybrids and ZEVs in the EU. And for nearly a third of all EU charging stations!

The declaration of intent will make electric driving even more appealing. Cars symbolise freedom. This declaration of intent will increase that freedom for drivers of electric cars. And it’s good for air quality and the climate, too.

Ladies and gentlemen,

The declaration of intent underscores the Benelux’s intention to continue leading the way in the transition to sustainable mobility in Europe. And to contribute significantly to the EU’s international climate commitments. The Benelux countries are part of a leading group that’s aiming for the strictest possible carbon emission standards for cars and vans.

We’re also looking at other measures to move sustainable mobility forward, on top of EU legislation. The political declaration of intent is not enough. If we’re to achieve all this, governments, sector organisations and companies need to work together.

So it’s good news that the associations representing charging station and service providers are also signing a declaration of intent today. They’re going to work together on a number of actions. For instance:

  • Issuing ID numbers for charging cards and charging points;
  • setting minimum standards for charging station equipment;
  • and creating a single e-roaming zone throughout the Benelux.

Good cooperation is and always will be crucial. Governments need to help market parties in order to accelerate cross-border electric driving. The time is right, so why wait?

That’s why today, we’re taking not 1, but 2 steps towards clean air, less noise pollution and fewer greenhouse gas emissions. It’s a promising start for this conference, and a major contribution towards 'Paris'.

Before we proceed with the official part of the programme, let me wish you all a pleasant and inspiring day.

Thank you.