Plan for more electric vehicles is (Amster)damned

Cycle spaces 'swallowed' up by new Dutch EVs

by Tom Henry   December 30, 2009  

amsterdam bike.jpg

A plan to put 10,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the streets of Amsterdam in five years has met with fierce resistance from an unlikely quarter - the city's famed body of cyclists.

Cyclists say that the promotion of EVs will diminish the status of the bike, swallowing up a large portion of the 550,000 parking spots currently used by cyclists and encouraging a more sedentary lifestyle.

According to research conducted by the city, cyclists are responsible for a full 55 percent of all movement within the centre of Amsterdam. However, transport planners want a big increase in EV use over the next five years, rising to 40,000 EVs trundling over its cobbled streets by 2020.

Cycle lobby groups are understandably concerned that a carbon-neutral way of getting round the city, proven for many years, will have to make way for a vehicle which is less environmentally-friendly. 

"We are afraid. If you add more parking spaces, you get more cars," said Marjolein de Lange, a member of the cycling union Fietsersbond, "We think the cleanest means of transport is the bike. Definitely." *

* Do Amsterdam's cyclists have a point? Or will they just have to budge up and share? Let us know!