Ministry launches initiative to promote use of electric cars

By Chryssa Liaggou

The government has introduced a legislative amendment aimed at promoting electric cars in Greece and bringing it closer to European Union targets for the proliferation of electric mobility.

The amendment aims to regulate the operation of recharging facilities, with Environment and Energy Minister Yiannis Maniatis hoping to maximize the benefits to the economy from an area of untapped potential.

The first phase of the scheme, which will be supervised by a special committee set up at the ministry’s General Secretariat for Energy, foresees an integrated “Network of Electric Mobility” operating in pilot form. Besides coordinating with all the various parties involved, the committee will also undertake the public information campaign.

Greece lags far behind its EU peers in the promotion of electric mobility, with just 25 exclusively electric cars (as opposed to hybrid ones) currently in circulation in the country. According to experts, such vehicles can cover 100 kilometers in the city on just 90 cents, compared to even the most economical gas-powered cars, which would require 3 to 3.50 euros to cover the same distance.

Two of the main reasons that Greece is so far behind is the absence of succinct legislation as well as the fact that until last November electric cars carried a luxury tax that significantly increased their cost. The clause for the installation of electric vehicle charging stations, meanwhile, was introduced to legislation just this January.

According to the recent amendment, charging stations will not need a special license for supplying electrical energy and will instead be categorized as final consumers with the right to resell power as a service. This improvement to the legislation is set to bolster the new market.

According to targets set by the EU, Greece should have 13,000 electric vehicle charging stations by end-2020.