While the Act on Electromobility is still in preparation, the Polish Minister of Energy brings a Policy for the Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure in its Easter egg basket. The goals for electricity, along with natural gas (CNG, LNG), are set out for 2020 and 2025.
Poland counts on significant surge in the number of electric vehicles, both passenger cars and public transportation buses, in the coming years. The beginnings are meager, with a few thousand electric vehicles and a few hundred recharging points, most of which offer the charging for free – partly for the sake of promoting e-mobility. The target for 2020 is ca. 50k electric vehicles, 6k normal recharging points accessible to the public and 400 high-power recharging points. An even bolder goal of 1 million electric cars is set for 2025. The assumption is that the slow increase in the first years will be followed by rapid growth later on, presumably in the period 2021-2024, although the authors of the Policy admit that the exact time of the acceleration cannot be predicted. Unsurprisingly, the turning point is expected once there is sufficient development of technology, infrastructure and legal frames for electromobility.
Deployment of the charging infrastructure is advised primarily in urban agglomerations and along the Trans-European Transport Networks (or TEN-T), to allow for maximum coverage of the country, taking into account the assumed electric vehicle’s range of 150 km, and a radius of 75 km from each agglomeration (see graphic below). This seems to be sufficient for transit, but not necessarily for daily use by the inhabitants of the areas near the perimeters.
According to the Minister, the costs of building a normal recharging station range between PLN 16k and PLN 70k (ca. € 4k and € 17k, respectively), while the costs of fast recharging station are between PLN100k and PLN 250k (ca. €24k and €60k, respectively) – depending on the costs of connection to the electricity grid and number of cars which can be charged at the same time. Moreover, the electric cars are still much more expensive than the vehicles that can be fueled with either petrol or a gaseous fuel. Because of this, the Minister acknowledges that financial incentives from the state and local governments are crucial in reaching the set targets. These may come, for example, in the form of excise duty relief, increase of depreciation rates, real estate tax relief, varied registration fees depending on the emissions and age of the vehicle, and – if introduced or allowed by the EU – decrease of the applicable VAT rate.
Transition to electric vehicles will shift some of the demand from imported oil to electric energy, which may be produced domestically. The Policy predicts that 1 million electric vehicles may generate an additional demand for electric energy of even 2.3 TWh annually.
According to a representative of the Ministry of Energy cited by the press, the Act on Electromobility should be adopted after the second quarter of 2017, and become effective in January 2018.