V4 neighbours show the way: subsidies for electric cars work

Current data on sales of electric vehicles for the third quarter of 2023 show that Slovakia is not only behind the average of the European Union or even more significantly behind Western European countries, but also our neighbours from the V4 and Romania have already overtaken us. Although the number of battery cars sold in our country is slowly increasing, their share of total sales is still pitifully low. The Slovak Electromobility Association (SEVA) warns that without direct state support for the purchase of electric vehicles, which can also be financed from the Recovery and Resilience Plan, we will not move from the last rungs of the unflattering statistics.

Slovakia has long been ranked last in the EU in the adoption of electric vehicles (BEVs), lagging far behind the European average. However, sales results from the third quarter of 2023 show that we are already falling further and further behind our V4 neighbours, but also Romania, for example. “This is an alarming signal that shows that Slovakia cannot afford to waste any more time,” says Patrik Križanský, Director of SEVA, adding: “Even in Turkey, the share of EVs in new sales is 5 times higher than in our country, and they don’t even have a subsidy programme.”

“If even Hungary, which is struggling with serious inflationary problems, can find funds for state support of electromobility, there is no reason why Slovakia cannot do the same,” continues Patrik Križanský in response to Budapest’s announced decision to support the EV market from November 2023 with EUR 78 million. This is in a situation where the share of newly sold electric cars in Hungary is approximately twice as high as in our country.

The subsidy programme for the purchase of electric vehicles can also be financed from the Recovery and Resilience Plan, following the recommendations of the European Commission. “Therefore, we do not have to worry about the impact on our tight state budget, nor do we have to send money that we are unable to spend elsewhere back to Brussels,” concludes Patrik Križanský.

Case study from the report Slovakia and electromobility 2023

“Mój elektryk” (Poland): Financial support for the purchase of an emission-free vehicle

The “Mój elektryk” programme of the Polish National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (NFOŚiGW) provides financial support for the purchase of zero-emission vehicles for natural and legal persons. Support is available not only for the purchase of a new vehicle, but there is also a scheme for the long-term lease of vehicles through leasing companies. The stated aim of the scheme is to reduce emissions The amount of financial support for M1 passenger cars is PLN 18 750 (approximately € 4 060), applicable to vehicles with a purchase price of up to PLN 225 000 (approximately € 49 000). Large families in the ‘Karta Dużej Rodziny’ programme are entitled to support of up to PLN 27 000 (approximately € 5 850), while the upper limit of the purchase price of the vehicle is not applicable in this case. The ‘Mój elektryk’ programme also applies to zero-emission commercial vehicles in the N1 category, where the upper limit of support per vehicle can be up to PLN 50 000 or PLN 70 000 (approximately €10 800 or €15 180), depending on the annual mileage. For the programming period 7/2021 to 9/2025, the programme has an allocation of PLN 700 million (approximately €152 million), and at the end of November 2022, approximately 30% of this amount had been spent, with NFOŚiGW having received 4 900 applications covering a total of 6 200 battery electric vehicles.

Thanks to transparently set conditions, the positive effect of the “Mój elektryk” programme has been visible since the end of 2021. Poland has very quickly overtaken Slovakia in the adoption of electromobility and this gap is increasing significantly (in Q3 2023, the share of new registrations of electric vehicles in Poland is 4.4% compared to 2.5% in Slovakia). It is realistic to expect Poland to reach the 5% share by the end of 2023, i.e. two years after the launch of the programme. In a Polish market with a traditionally very strong representation of imported, used vehicles, the Mój elektryk programme has also resulted in an above-average share of new vehicles in total registrations, reaching almost 90% in 2022.

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