Subsidizing purchases of electric cars would make perfect sense

18 july 2016 | Rossiyskaya Gazeta

The head of the Analytical Center’s Department for the Fuel and Energy Sector Victoria Gimadi told a Rossiyskaya Gazeta correspondent about how to make the running of electric cars in major Russian cities cheaper.

Victoria Gimadi
Victoria Gimadi
Department for Fuel and Energy Sector

Russia has introduced a zero tariff on imported electric cars while the tariff on electric commercial vehicles weighing up to five tons has been reduced from 15 to 5%.

Today, the easiest way to make the use of electric cars in major Russian cities cheaper compared to ordinary cars is to reduce the price of electric batteries. But research in this area is not being prioritized in Russia at the moment as contrasted to developed countries. Ms. Gimadi believes that the most logical step at this stage would be for the government to subsidize purchases of electric cars the way it is done in Europe.

The effects of subsidies are clear: in 2015 the number of electric cars and hybrids in Europe went up by 48.5% with a total of 78,300 such vehicles being sold. The leading nations include Norway, the UK and Germany. The Association of Chinese Automakers stated that a total of 331,090 electric cars and hybrids were sold in the country and that this year China plans to increase this amount to 700,000 units.

All of the countries mentioned above have one thing in common in their attempts to expand the use of electric vehicles: they all offer subsidies to buy electric cars and subsidies to install charging stations. As a result, China already has 10,000 charging stations, the US has over 30,000, the Netherlands has some five thousand and Norway has roughly the same amount.