Poland Seeks ‘Green Credentials’ With E-mobility Program

Poland, Europe’s biggest coal polluter, said it has plans to invest heavily in an electric-mobility program.

The program, announced by Development Minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewsk, has a goal of putting one million battery electric cars on Polish roads within 10 years, Motion Digest reported.

To kick start the push, government subsidies and tax incentives based on those of other European countries will be needed.

Deputy Development Minister Jadwiga Emilewicz said she hopes these would start in the current term of parliament, which ends in 2019.

The ambitious agenda has a steep hill to climb.

In a country of 38 million, only 427 electric vehicles were sold in 2015, and in the first four months of 2016, a mere 44 EVs were registered — just 0.03 percent of the total registered vehicles in Poland in the period.

A quick boost of EVs on the roads is expected from electric car sharing.

The Polish cities of Warsaw and Krakow are each planning to launch 200 car electric car-sharing programs, while a startup is aiming to start offering the service in six additional cities.

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At the present time, public charging stations aren’t an issue. European Union funding has helped to get hundreds of EV charging stations installed in major cities.

Poland is also encouraging its cities to develop “green credentials” that it believes would in turn spur electric bus production to 1,000 a year by 2020.

The electric bus part of the e-mobility program is aimed at gradual electrification of the public bus transport in selected cities and is expected to stimulate growth in the electric bus market.

Polish cities have bought a total of 16 plug-in buses to date, while the country’s biggest manufacturer, Solaris, made 1,279 vehicles in 2015, both electric and traditional.

However, since the nation’s municipalities operate only about 11,000 buses, the government is banking on the public buying the bulk of vehicles to reach the one million target.

Motion Digest