Support for electromobility in SR conditions

author Ius Aegis
Podpora elektromobility v podmienkach SR

Last week, almost a year late, the Government of the Slovak Republic finally approved the so-called Action plan for the development of electromobility in the Slovak Republic (Action Plan), which contains 15 specific measures for the development of that segment. The action plan and individual measures should be implemented within two years and should bring electromobility closer to the general public and motivate them to use this alternative drive.

The action plan responds to the global trend of electric cars entering the market and to the efforts of European structures to accelerate the development of electric mobility. The measures brought by the Action Plan have the character of both direct and indirect support for the use of highly ecological and low-emission vehicles, and their goal is to increase the attractiveness of electromobility, make it accessible to ordinary consumers and ultimately increase the number of electric cars on the roads. These are the following measures:

Subsidies for the purchase of electric cars and plug-in hybrids

Several global car manufacturers have announced that they plan to launch several new models with a range of around 400 km this year, so the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic wants to continue the pilot project to directly support the use of electric cars, and will therefore continue to provide subsidies for low-emission vehicles. As for the amount of support, it should be approximately the same as in the original support scheme, i.e. in the amount of €5,000 for the purchase of an electric car, and in the amount of €3,000 for the purchase of the so-called plug-in hybrids. The details of this subsidy scheme should be known during the month of April 2019.

Subsidies for the construction of charging stations

In accordance with the Action Plan, the Ministry of the Economy of the Slovak Republic should also provide subsidies to support the construction or reconstruction of publicly accessible charging stations (outside the main road corridors, and thus mainly in the urban environment) for electric cars. Municipalities, higher territorial units, as well as legal or natural persons will be able to apply for subsidies for this purpose. Details of this subsidy scheme should be known within two months (May-June 2019)

Simplifying the process of building charging stations

The action plan also significantly simplifies the administrative process for the construction of charging stations and their permitting by the relevant building authorities. Above all, the currently valid guidelines of the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic caused many interpretation problems in practice, therefore the adoption of the new Construction Act (January 1, 2020) will significantly simplify and unify this process in this regard.

Depreciation for two years

A significant motivation for entrepreneurs will be the introduction of a new depreciation group for electric cars and charging stations, where the depreciation period will be 2 years (the current depreciation period for electric cars is 4 years and for charging stations it is up to 6 to 8 years).

Obligation to build a charging station in case of building new parking spaces

The action plan even plans to introduce an obligation to build charging infrastructure for new buildings with more than 10 parking spaces (non-residential building - one charging station with tube distribution for at least one of five parking spaces and, in the case of apartment buildings, for each parking space). The measure in question will be implemented in accordance with the approval of the text of Directive 2018/844 of the European Parliament and of the Council, which amends Directive 2010/31/EU on the energy efficiency of buildings and Directive 2012/27/EU on energy efficiency of May 30, 2018.

Creation of low-emission zones

The action plan also responds to the so-called low emission zones. Municipalities will be able to decide on the introduction of low-emission zones through a generally binding regulation, in which the municipality will define a part of the territory where only vehicles with a specified emission class will be allowed to enter.

Special color code

To distinguish electric cars from vehicles powered by a combustion engine, the color differentiation of the marking of electric cars should be used. Electric cars will have a special colored number plate - green.

Bus lanes for electric cars

Unlike other vehicles, electric cars with a special green number plate will be able to park in low-emission zones, or they will be able to drive in reserved bus lanes.

Charging stations at public administration parking lots

Charging stations should also be in the parking lots of state institutions, but this will depend on whether a specific state institution has a reserved parking space for the public and whether it will be interested in implementing the installation of a charging station, as the measure in question is only of a recommendatory nature and therefore not binding.

Support for research and innovation

In connection with the development of electromobility, the Action Plan also deals with the support of research, development and production of electric batteries, which will have an impact not only on the development of electromobility, but also on the creation of new jobs and the creation of the battery industry for the automotive industry. The goal of the Action Plan is to create a competitive industrial production of electric car batteries and to strengthen battery recycling.

Adaptation of the workforce for the needs of electromobility

It is proposed to create framework conditions, on the basis of which it will be possible to create a professional qualification in the field of professional competence in electrical engineering, which will define an independent activity for carrying out the development, production and repairs of electric vehicles.

Information campaign

Action Development also includes an upcoming information campaign, the task of which is to familiarize the public not only with the direct benefits of switching to an electric car, but also to inform the public about alternative fuels used in transport and their gentle and positive impact on the environment.

Green public procurement

Although the obligation of the so-called "green" public procurement is not an obligation for the public administration, the public administration should set an example and procure electric vehicles and approach the procurement of goods and services taking economy and ecology into account.

Support of electromobility in Slovak conditions and its inclusion in all Slovak policies and strategies

When adopting new legislative and non-legislative materials, electromobility should be taken into account due to its importance and cross-cutting nature.

Creating a legal, technical and business environment for electromobility

Due to the need to coordinate procedures for the introduction and evaluation of individual measures, the Action Plan proposes to establish interdepartmental groups with the participation of each concerned department and professional organizations.

The action plan thus responds relatively comprehensively to basic questions related to the support of electromobility in Slovakia. Since the Action Plan primarily deals only with electricity, it can be assumed that the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic, as the submitter of the Action Plan, will in the foreseeable future develop similar action plans for other alternative fuels such as e.g. compressed and liquefied natural gas or hydrogen.

JUDr. Matej Slezák