Slovaks not only want to export electric cars, but also want to drive them

As part of its active participation in the development of electromobility in Slovakia, the Slovak Association for Electromobility (SEVA) will participate in today’s exit meeting of the Government in Košice. The draft resolution shows that the government’s priority is to support Slovak car manufacturers and the local supply chain in the difficult transformation from the production of vehicles with conventional drive to electric vehicles. Mastering this challenge would mean that we will be able to continue to produce vehicles for the Germans, the French or the Dutch. However, the resolution also includes measures that should extend electromobility itself to people and companies in Slovakia. SEVA has been pushing both themes in its communication with the government.

Although the subject of the government’s deliberations is not directly the update of the Action Plan for the Development of Electromobility, a number of measures in the resolution correspond to the wording of the proposals that SEVA has prepared and communicated in detail with the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic over the past month. SEVA’s extensive proposals, covering almost twenty pages, covered both support for the introduction of electric vehicles on the road, the development of charging infrastructure and the associated energy system, and the development of the automotive and battery industry.

In addition to support for the industry, the draft government resolution also included several points aimed at addressing the practical problems of developing electromobility in Slovakia. “An effective transformation to electric vehicles is taken very seriously by the entire European automotive industry, especially in countries where this sector was the engine of the economy long before Slovakia became the world leader in per capita car production,” says SEVA Director Patrik Križanský, pointing out that the government has made the right decision to support existing car companies and local suppliers in this transformation. “Our priority going forward also remains the development of the electro-mobility ecosystem within our country, better adaptation of battery vehicles in emission-free transport and more electro-mobile drivers on the road, who will drive more economically and with a lower emission footprint,” adds the head of the association.

So what are the measures that the government proposes to take in its resolution at the retreat? By 30 June this year, the finance ministry is to assess the possibilities of adopting measures that would favour the purchase and leasing of electric cars in categories M and N. “It looks like the government wants to make it clear within four months whether we will have subsidies for electric cars in Slovakia or not. SEVA has repeatedly drawn attention to the opportunity to introduce subsidy programmes from the Recovery and Resilience Plan, where we have many examples from abroad and proven practice,” says Patrik Križanský, assessing possible subsidies, tax breaks and other measures to support the adaptation of electric vehicles.

The government has also correctly identified the need to include non-public charging infrastructure in subsidy schemes. It wants to include the installation of non-public chargers as eligible expenditure under existing support programmes for both households and businesses. “Up to 80% of all charging takes place at home or business chargers that are not open to the public. That is why the construction of infrastructure is part of subsidy schemes in, for example, Austria or other EU countries,” informs Križanský.

By 30 June, the Ministry of Transport is to introduce a temporary advantage for electric vehicles in the charges for the use of motorways and expressways in the Slovak Republic. “Although the specific form of this measure is not defined in the resolution, a discount on the price of the motorway vignette or a complete waiver of motorway tolls for electric vehicles is possible, as is the case, for example, in the Czech Republic,” Križanský comments on the advantages in force in our western neighbours.

By the end of the year, the Ministry of Finance is to find ways to give EVs an advantage in depreciation as well. Companies would thus be able to reduce their taxable income more quickly through the costs associated with the purchase and use of electric vehicles. According to SEVA’s director, “such an incentive can encourage faster adoption of EVs in companies by providing a financial incentive to switch to zero-emission transport.”

“However, returning to the car companies, they need to be supported not only financially and legislatively, but also, for example, by creating conditions for research and development, education and training of the workforce or professional capacities. Innovative industries are key to electromobility, which is why SEVA supports, for example, the launch of the European Battery Academy training programme,” says Križanský.

Thedevelopment of the battery industry and the promotion of renewable energy sources are other pillars on which efforts to effectively transform towards electromobility must be built. Renewables provide the clean energy needed for sustainable production. “Both battery manufacturers and the car companies themselves monitor their carbon footprint in great detail and therefore look for locations where renewable energy sources are abundant,” says Krizhansky, adding: “The government must therefore look for ways to encourage the development and integration of renewables into our energy mix, whether by streamlining the permitting process or by introducing legislative and regulatory measures to facilitate their adoption and deployment.” The government has also identified the need to support the development of the electricity distribution network, not only in the context of electromobility. It tasked the Minister for Economic Affairs with carrying out an analysis to assess the impact of the development of electromobility on electricity prices and availability for all types of consumers, taking into account the growing demand for electricity not only in households but also in industry. The government wants to incentivise distribution system operators to develop their capacity through further investment. “In expanding and modernising the infrastructure needed for efficient electricity distribution, the government has at its disposal both the resources of the European Union and the possibility of improving the regulatory environment, which can positively motivate distribution system operators to invest for the long term,” says SEVA’s director, assessing another area of the government’s upcoming support. The Ministry of Economy together with the Ministry of Investments have been tasked with securing the possibility of drawing on European Union funds to strengthen the operability of the transmission and distribution system by the end of the year. “We see these investments as crucial not only for connecting high-capacity charging stations, but in general for better electrification opportunities for industry, services and households across the country,” concludes Patrik Križanský.


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