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Old April 19th, 2016, 11:49 AM   #13521
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They're already doing a fine job getting less dependent on the world's oil reserves by revolutionizing the energy sector step by step. An interesting 'Tegenlicht' documentary from last month shows that in Gulf states solar energy is now cheaper than energy coming from a regular power plant, which is huge. In developing countries like India no new traditional power plants are built but instead they choose to build fields of solar panels. China currently adds about 15 times the total green energy production of the USA in Gigawatts to their countr annually, a true transition is happening. Therefore no need to bash the auto industry and instead focus efforts on sectors where they are better served.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 11:51 AM   #13522
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Here is the episode if you're interested: http://tegenlicht.vpro.nl/aflevering...-duurzaam.html
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Old April 19th, 2016, 05:25 PM   #13523
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Cars are already shifting to electric, though slowly. Tesla with its Model 3 will make electric cars very common by 2020 or so. Electric cars are ultimately extremely cheap to run compared to gas, once batteries are cheap enough for mass consumption they will skyrocket in popularity, and we are getting closer to that every year. Gas will always have a place in automobiles if you ask me, though eventually it'll become more of a niche fuel. It's still going to be a while before we see large trucks and whatnot running on electricity too, and those are where a huge portion of pollutants come from in road transport.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 05:36 PM   #13524
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Current electric cars under € 40,000 have a limited range and the few that have a large range (Tesla) are extremely expensive. For example, why buy a Tesla Model S for € 80,000 - 100,000 while you can buy a decent second-hand luxury car for € 25,000. It will take forever to break even on fuel cost, even with the higher fuel prices in Europe.

As pointed out earlier, a major problem for the government are the dwindling tax revenues if electric cars become more popular. Tax revenues already tanked significantly with the incentives for plugin-electric hybrid vehicles. (They lost around 70% of new car registration tax revenue, known as BPM in Dutch). They will have to introduce new taxes to compensate for that. So it is doubtful whether electric driving will be affordable for the mainstream population in the future. The lower cost of future electric cars could be offset by a higher tax burden. A mileage tax seems like an easy alternative for the current fuel tax.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 05:38 PM   #13525
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The mechanics of Tesla are great, instead of a bulky transmission, electric motor (one or 2 depending on version) powering each axle.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 05:52 PM   #13526
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BPM tax

The BPM tax (Dutch: Belasting op personenauto's en motorrijwielen) is a tax on new car sales. It is a separate tax besides the value added tax (VAT) which is 21%. The BPM tax used to be 45.2% of the net car price. So on a new car, you would pay 45.2% BPM tax, plus 21% VAT.

A simple example; a car with a net catalogue price of € 25.000 would cost 45.2% BPM (€ 11.300) + 21% VAT (€ 5.250), for a total of € 41.550. There were some deductions and supplemental fees, depending on fuel type, but this gives a general idea.

However, since 2008 the BPM tax has changed to a CO2-based tax. Which means a Tesla Model S cost € 0 in BPM tax, while under the previous scheme a € 85.000 net price would mean the car would've cost € 38.420 in BPM tax. That's a huge loss of revenue, an incentive which can be maintained now that 0.1% of all cars are battery electric, but will be a problem once the share increases significantly.

Here you can see the BPM tax revenue in the Netherlands since 2002.


As you can see, the tax revenue dropped significantly since 2008. This is in part due to the recession, but it stayed low since the recession, due to the lower tax rates for plugin-electric hybrids, which makes up a large share of new car sales.

Of course, the BPM tax is just one of several tax revenues that will dwindle with electric cars, the most prominent one being the fuel tax, but also the annual road tax and business lease tax rates (bijtelling in Dutch).
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Old April 19th, 2016, 06:41 PM   #13527
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For the folks who are unaware: do note that these specific taxes aren't earmarked towards car-related government expenses. I.e. everything goes into the general fund, and the road budget paid out of those funds is reasonably matched towards medium-term planning goals.

For context: while on the one hand you've got people bemoaning the fact that road users don't really get their money's worth (often forgetting a pretty long list of negative externalities), we're relatively lucky here in the NL that:

(1) comprehensive plans are in place and introduced/updated regularly
(2) they actually get funded in the majority of cases
and (3) a slew of expedited planning/construction processes have been put into place over the last 10~15 years because project timelines were getting way out of hand

It's not perfect, but when I look over the border at how Western parts of Germany have been getting the shaft for ~25 years now, well, it's not that bad here.
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Old April 19th, 2016, 09:28 PM   #13528
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N34 Coevorden - Emmen

The province of Drenthe has approved the expansion of N34 between Coevorden and Emmen to a four-lane expressway, with a 100 km/h speed limit. It involves the twinning of the existing super two to four lanes along its current alignment.

A 4.5 kilometer segment of N34 was already widened to four lanes in 1999, between A37 (then N37) and N391 near Emmen. This will extend the four lanes north to N381 and south to N382 near Coevorden (16 kilometers overall, of which about 9 kilometers is new). The stretch through the Holsloot cloverleaf with A37 remains unchanged (1 through lane southbound).

Schematics (south to north):














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Old April 20th, 2016, 02:06 PM   #13529
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N33 Zuidbroek - Appingedam

The government published the 'intent to start an environmental approval procedure' for the expansion of N33 between Zuidbroek (A7) and Appingedam (N362) to a four-lane, controlled-access expressway with a 100 km/h speed limit. This is an official step in the plan approval process. Construction could start by late 2018.

The N33 will be twinned mostly along its existing alignment, east or west of the current roadway. However, there are alternatives south of Appingedam that take N33 on a new alignment.

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Old April 21st, 2016, 04:11 PM   #13530
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N18 Groenlo - Enschede

A contract has been signed with the consortium 'Noaber18' to construct the new 27 kilometer long N18 'Twenteroute' in eastern Netherlands. It runs from Groenlo to Enschede, mostly on a new alignment.

The new road is a 100 km/h expressway, however only the Haaksbergen - Enschede segment will feature 2x2 lanes, the rest is a super two with one lane in each direction and a median divider. This design has been criticized for requiring the width of nearly a motorway while operating only one lane in each direction with no passing options. This part of the Netherlands has no high-standard roads.

Early works will be performed from now on, large-scale construction is planned to start in September. The new N18 will open in the second half of 2018.

As usual, the contract value is not disclosed.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 04:59 PM   #13531
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Why "equiring the width of nearly a motorway while operating only one lane in each direction"? What occupies the remaining space?
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Old April 21st, 2016, 05:05 PM   #13532
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Indeed.. I don't get those decisions. In the future they've builded along those roads en is there no space anymore while expansion is needed.
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Old April 21st, 2016, 05:07 PM   #13533
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They add a semi-hardened shoulder on the outside, in addition to a grassby berm. Which means the space between the crash barriers is the same as two regular lanes. In locations with no crash barriers on the right side, the grassy berm is wider, so the complete cross-section is usually wide enough for a near-motorway width. Other 2x2 expressways (without shoulders) have been built on similar cross-sections.



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Old April 21st, 2016, 05:14 PM   #13534
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The BPM tax (Dutch: Belasting op personenauto's en motorrijwielen) is a tax on new car sales. It is a separate tax besides the value added tax (VAT) which is 21%. The BPM tax used to be 45.2% of the net car price. So on a new car, you would pay 45.2% BPM tax, plus 21% VAT.


Wow, this is one hell of a tax.
Does this apply also to km-0 cars? I don't know if they exist outside Italy, I mean those cars registrated by the dealership and then used as test cars or something like that?
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Old April 21st, 2016, 07:06 PM   #13535
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Quote:
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As usual, the contract value is not disclosed.
Why is that?
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Old April 21st, 2016, 07:28 PM   #13536
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I don't know. Rijkswaterstaat does not publish the bids or contract value of projects. You can look up the budget for a project on the MIRT site, where it is budgeted at € 337 million, of which the region pays € 151 million.

I don't know why they're not more transparent about it. They say that 'people involved in the bidding process know the bids and contract value', but it isn't published on their website. This is rather strange considering the fraud with construction cartels in the 1990s that has cost the taxpayer a lot of money (bouwfraude)
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Old April 21st, 2016, 10:18 PM   #13537
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Quote:
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I don't know. Rijkswaterstaat does not publish the bids or contract value of projects. You can look up the budget for a project on the MIRT site, where it is budgeted at € 337 million, of which the region pays € 151 million.

I don't know why they're not more transparent about it. They say that 'people involved in the bidding process know the bids and contract value', but it isn't published on their website. This is rather strange considering the fraud with construction cartels in the 1990s that has cost the taxpayer a lot of money (bouwfraude)
The corruption was perceived as very severe in the East European countries. The public forced the politicians quite consistently to work on the transparency. It is not yet perfect but there've been substitutional changes.

This has led to tenders that concentrate on the price criteria. There's ongoing discussion as whether this is something desirable. You need to enumerate all the conditions and standards that the companies need to fulfil beforehand in order to make their offers comparable and then you boil the competition down to price. In fact the project is prepared by the authorities and the companies just bid to realize this project. This results in transparent tenders, but causes huge processing problems and narrow vision solutions. It is argued that the price criteria doesn't have to be used that often.

Indeed there's a huge difference in the share of tenders competed on price e.g. in the Czech Republic and in the Netherlands or other Western European countries. In the Western Europe is used mostly the controlled dialogue approach. I think that this approach can deliver good results, but ultimately leads to much less transparent tenders, which results in higher prices.

What I would consider as one of the best approaches towards tendering would be some sort of merge of these approaches. I would keep the dialogue, so that the whole process would be more flexible, but I would combine it with sort of transparent auction. That is something in these lines.

1) Companies would be given set of the core criteria, minimal standards, conditions and project goals.

2) They would be offered chance to propose their approaches to the problem and set a price tag on their solution.

3) The authorities would look at the solutions, evaluate whether they condone on the set criteria and if yes, those solutions would advance to the second round, when the participants would bid for the cheapest offer. That means, the competing companies would get a chance to set a new price to their own solution and also to the solution of other competitors. The second round would be purely price and perhaps also warranty driven if applicable. The solution with the lowest price tag would win the competition.

Of course the solution information would need to be disclosed and companies could have problems with disclosing their know how. Maybe there could be a % payment from the winner to the company with the winning solution if the winner would offer a lower price for their solution.

All in all I think that the most important factors for a good tender are
a) Number of competitors
b) Transparency
c) Bank guarantees to eliminate the fake offers
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Old April 21st, 2016, 10:29 PM   #13538
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
The new road is a 100 km/h expressway, however only the Haaksbergen - Enschede segment will feature 2x2 lanes
The yellow section on the map (Varsseveld bypass) seems to be 2x2 too (but 80km/h design or speed limit instead of 100km/h, maybe w/o median?). Why are these intersections at-grade while all(?) interchanges on the northern sections are grade-separted?
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Which new motorways are currently under construction?
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Old April 21st, 2016, 11:29 PM   #13539
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Quote:
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seems to be 2x2 too [...] maybe w/o median?
2x2 without median @80km/h is more unlikely than an immediate widening to 2x5.
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Old April 23rd, 2016, 11:55 AM   #13540
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The new drawbridge next to the A12 at the Gouwe Aquaduct near Gouda was installed this night.

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