NEWS

Where electric cars are concerned, Greece remains largely unplugged

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Greece is among the least prepared European countries to use electric cars, according to a study by a Netherlands-based automobile leasing and fleet management company.

Among the 22 European countries studied by LeasePlan, Greece is deemed second to last in its readiness to use electric cars, slightly ahead of only Poland. By contrast, Norway, the Netherlands, Sweden and Austria are deemed best prepared.

Every country studied improved its readiness, although not at the same pace: Finland, Germany and Portugal were the most improved, as a result of expanding the number of charging outlets and improving incentives to buy electric cars.

Greece has a very limited number of public charging points, just 115, of which only 6 have fast chargers. The comparison with the 3 best equipped countries is overwhelming: the Netherlands have 83,196 charging points, Germany 37,405 and France 34,558. The Netherlands also have the highest number of charging points per 1,000 inhabitants (4.8) followed by Norway (4.5) and Luxembourg (1.9).

Lack of infrastructure readiness explains, at least partly, the low number of electric, and hybrid cars, that entered circulation in the first nine months of 2018; only 231, the lowest per capita number of the 22 countries examined.

While it does provide some incentives – notably, electric and other low-pololuting cars do not pay the annual road usage tax – Greece does not subsidize the acquisition of electric cars by either individuals or companies and does not offer a lower VAT on electric models. There are also no incentives, as in other countries, by either local or national authorities to provide more charging points.