Your Majesty, honoured guests, employees and directors of Ebusco,
In the 1978 hit movie Grease, John Travolta sang ‘You’re the one that I want’.
The more ‘mature’ members of the audience probably know this classic by heart.
At one moment into the song, Travolta cries out: ‘It’s electrifying!’
Don’t worry, I’m not going to sing the lyrics for you!
But for all Ebusco’s employees and its directors, for its suppliers and customers, and for the Dutch business community… there’s only one word to describe the official start of production of the Ebusco 3.0: electrifying!
Electric driving contributes to a healthy future and clean air.
And to a healthy economy too.
Dutch charging stations, trucks and buses are taking the world by storm, generating annual revenues of some five billion euros for Dutch companies.
The number of green jobs is growing fast and is projected to double by 2025.
Over the last five years, more than a quarter of the Dutch public transport bus fleet has become zero-emission.
That’s more than 1,300 zero-emission buses, powered by renewable energy, making the Netherlands Europe’s frontrunner in electric bus transport.
Zero emission buses are also becoming more and more common in the rest of Europe too – including Belgium, Germany and France.
Your Majesty, when you visited the French transport company Transdev in Paris five years ago, you already made a tour in an electric Ebusco bus.
Zero-emission buses contribute to our short-term climate goals and to the EU Fit for 55% Package.
Therefore I’m proud that many of the zero emission buses that drive around in Europe, have been designed and partly produced in the Netherlands.
So, electric driving is good news for Dutch manufacturing,
good news for the health of our people and our planet, and
good news for future-proof public transport.
According to the National Climate Agreement, all new public transport buses in the Netherlands must be zero-emission from 2025.
And the entire fleet must be zero-emission by 2030.
Companies like Ebusco are showing us that clean, affordable public transport is feasible. Zero-emission buses allow us to take serious steps towards a climate-neutral society.
It’s a great opportunity for public authorities, which award public transport contracts, to really make a difference.
It’s my policy to promote zero emission vehicles – contributing to the climate goals and tackling nitrogen deposition.
So I support the introduction for light duty as well as medium- and heavy duty vehicles like trucks and busses.
I want to make electric driving an attractive option for everyone.
For example: for the next three years, grants will be available for consumers buying a new or used electric car.
Last year, grant funding for new electric cars was depleted in a flash, and for used electric cars after nine months.
So we’ve now set aside an extra 80 million euros to subsidise the purchase of new and 10 million euros for used zero emission vehicles.
We still have a long and winding road ahead of us to achieve our climate goals.
And we will a need clear and ambitious European roadmap.
So it’s good to hear Mister Hololei affirm today that the EU will continue to invest in this. Let’s work together with other pioneering countries and cities to pave the way towards a clean future.
We also need companies that are willing to be pioneers.
Companies like Ebusco, that provide us with green innovation, green jobs and a green export product.
Ebusco buses have always been designed in the Netherlands.
And now the 3.0 will be assembled in the Netherlands as well, here in the factory in Deurne, generating maximum benefits for the local and national economy.
From now on, we can write 100% Dutch-made in capitals on Ebusco busses.
I compliment Ebusco on its innovative design for the 3.0: using aeronautical technology to save weight, resulting in a bus that has a bigger range and more capacity.
A unique design and a jewel in the crown of this young Dutch company.
Only ten years ago Ebusco was a startup, operating out of a former fire station in Helmond.
And now this company is a key player with a modern production facility here in Deurne, that has been listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange since last Friday, a new milestone to be proud off!
Ladies and gentlemen,
I congratulate everyone who contributed to the design and is now involved in the production of the Ebusco 3.0.
This is not only a big moment for Ebusco.
It also helps our country and other countries to accelerate towards our goals of a healthier climate and cleaner air.
I wish Ebusco every success.
And I hope that many of your future customers will take one look at the Ebusco 3.0 and sing: ‘you’re the one that I want’!
Thank you for your attention.