SET 2023: The price of fuel in 2026 will be so high, that everyone will want to drive electric cars

Source: eKapija Wednesday, 05.04.2023. 12:50
(Photo: Set/3D Media)

The price of fuel will be so high in 2026 that everyone will want to drive electric cars, and the savings are significant even today - besides, it is up to eight times cheaper to drive an electric car than a conventional car - these are all conclusions from the panel "Development of electromobility in the region" held at this year's SET.

The participants discussed subsidies as a very important factor in the purchase of electric vehicles, they agreed that the charger network in the region is more developed than it was five years ago, but that it still needs to improve, and they also learned how much it costs to drive a Porsche Taycan, one of the most luxurious electric cars in the world, from Sarajevo to Trebinje.

The panel moderator was Boris Dumnic from the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad, and the participants were: Srdjan Ozegovic, executive director of Procredit Bank Sarajevo, Armin Mulovic, brand manager of Porsche BiH, Vedran Kirincic, consultant for energy transition, Zeljko Purgar, consultant for electromobility, Igor Ban , development manager at Kempower, Milos Kostic, owner and founder of Mt Komex.

The German model should not be copied

Zeljko Purgar, a consultant for electromobility, explained that gasoline and diesel will be only get more expensive and that the price of fuel will "force" buyers to consider electric cars. As he explained, starting from 2026, trade in traffic emission coupons will begin, and greenhouse gas emissions in 2030 should be reduced by 43%, when compared to 2005 levels.

- This is where the problem arises. For example, by 2019, Slovenia has increased greenhouse gas emissions in traffic by 28%. Now that they have introduced these new measures, they need to go from 28% to -43% in 11 years, and in 2026 they should start selling coupons, but unlike in the energy sector, where thermal power plants pay for it, here it would be the fossil fuel producers. And who will face the most problems? The buyers of fossil fuels, and the situation will become very interesting overnight, because gasoline and diesel will be more and more expensive. In 2028, the EU will make the first review of who is successful and just how much, however, we can already say that a problem will arise for Slovenia and Croatia, because the price of fuel will be so high that everyone will ask "where is my electric car" - explains Purgar.

He points out that in this area we should not "copy" other countries, because the German system cannot be applied in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina.

- Just look at which chargers for electric cars are more profitable, public or private. It depends, for example, if we look at Germany, Italy, Spain, it is clear that the public ones are more profitable, because people mostly live in apartment buildings. But when we take a look at Slovenia and Croatia, we see that two thirds of the population live in houses, have their own parking space and energy source. Everyone must find their own answer, see how they live, the worst thing is molds, if we put a Bosnian driver into a German mold, we have created a big problem - Purgar believes.

According to him, the thesis often mentioned in the public is incorrect, that if all the cars in Croatia were to be electric, two more nuclear power plants the size of Krsko, would be have to be built in order to provide the necessary energy.

(Photo: SET/3D Media)

A journey of 700 kilometers for 8 EUR

Srdjan Ozegovic, executive director of Procredit Bank Sarajevo, believes that the promotion of electromobility is very important. For this reason, this bank completely changed its vehicle fleet and installed 15 chargers in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which it provided for free use over a three-year period. The bank also tested a Volkswagen vehicle to show the savings.

- It turned out that on the longest section to Bihac, the 700 km journey did not take any longer than it would with a conventional vehicle, but the cost was significantly lower. The travel costed 16 KM or 8 EUR, and if we had traveled that road with a conventional vehicle, the price of fuel would have been over 130 KM or 65 EUR. The savings are very significant, that's what we wanted to show. Apart from promotion and showing the possibility of moving around normally with electric cars in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the last year's subsidies, which introduced the exemption from customs duties, had the most impact on potential buyers when considering investing in these vehicles - pointed out Ozegovic.

There are currently 1,000 electric vehicles in Serbia

Moderator Boris Dumnic from the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad said that Norway has reduced or completely abolished subsidies for electric cars, which Germany is also doing now. Sales in January 2023 decreased by 70% in Norway and by around 13% in Germany.

Milos Kostic, the owner and founder of MT Komex, also believes that subsidies are very important. As he reminded, Serbia introduced a subsidy of EUR 5,000 for the purchase of an electric car three days before the start of the COVID virus, and although this news was not particularly noticed due to the pandemic outbreak, the practice has continued.

- Currently, in Serbia, you have 1,000 vehicles that are fully electric, and most of them have passed the procedure for obtaining a subsidy. We have invested almost EUR 3 million in the development of infrastructure for ultra-fast and slow charging. In the beginning, we started with AC chargers to show that with a small investment we can create a large number of charging points. We have seen that it is a solid idea, but it is not enough to raise interest in the purchase of electric vehicles. Then, in the last two years, we invested in the purchase of 54 ultra-fast chargers, from 150 kW and up, and made partnerships with gas stations, shopping malls - says Kostic.

(Photo: SET/3D Media)

The location of chargers matter

Armin Mulovic, brand manager of the company Porsche BiH, points out that subsidies are very important when we look at companies that purchase 10 or 20 vehicles, as well as individuals. Because the customer is ultimately looking for the best price.

- We at the Volkswagen Group have decided that by 2025, 30% of our five brands will be electric vehicles. No one asks us how we will sell, the business plan is as it is and you have to convince the client, plus there are very important subsidies. Of course, right now, electric vehicles are more expensive, but the manufacturer plans to change that in the coming period and to make them cheaper than conventional ones. The measure in Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the duty on electric vehicles is 0% and on hybrids is 5%, is just one small step, but you know what they say, it's better to be wounded than dead - Mulovic, who himself drove an electric sports car, a Porsche Taycan, from Sarajevo to Trebinje for the cost of 6.9 KM, described it vividly.

There is no electrification of public transport without subsidies

Unlike Mulovic, Vedran Kirincic, a consultant for energy transition, sees no room for reducing the prices of electric vehicles.

- Armin may have some different information, obtained directly from the brand. Due to various factors, mobility will become increasingly expensive. On average, 1-1.5 people drive one car, we go from door to door by car, we rarely use public transport, or go walking, cycling. We all aspire to own a private vehicle, but as energy prices go up, that will also change - believes Kirincic.

Nevertheless, Kirincic admits that he himself would not give up his own car, but that his students should go towards that concept if there is a good enough alternative. Electrification of public transport is, as he says, a significant investment.

- Public transport is additionally subsidized even in larger cities. Electric and hydrogen vehicles are more expensive though, so that's an additional burden. Now they are looking for some grants, EU funds, each city is a story for itself, but it requires subsidies, and parallel to that, photovoltaic power plants should be built for power supply - says Kirincic.

One million chargers in Europe by 2025

Pointing out the problem of the charging infrastructure, the moderator mentioned that there are 300,000 public chargers in Europe. One million are announced by 2025, which means that three chargers should be built every single week. Igor Ban, development manager at Kempower, points out that this is a highly demanding project that requires huge financial resources. However, as he says, driving an electric car today, even in the region, is significantly more comfortable than it was just five years ago, when he started driving such a car.

- Today you have apps that help you plan your trip, show you where the chargers are located, you just set the parameters and the application calculates everything for you. In the last two weeks, I traveled 2,000-3,000 km in my electric car throughout the region, so wherever there is infrastructure, where there are ultra-fast chargers, there are no problems - says Ban.

The Energy Summit Trebinje 2023 was held from March 22 to 24, organized by Elektroprivreda RS, the City of Trebinje and SET.

Portal eKapija is the media sponsor of the Summit.

M. Dedic
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