2 December 2020
Electricity consumption by electric cars soars in Belarus
MINSK, 2 December (BelTA) – The amount of electricity used by electric cars in Belarus has increased by four times within one year, the press service of the Belarusian industrial group Belorusneft told BelTA. Belorusneft is the national operator in charge of building and running a chain of electric vehicle charging stations in the country.
According to the source, electric vehicles represent one of the few industries that demonstrated growth in Belarus and the world as a whole in 2020. According to estimates of Belorusneft's electric vehicle charging stations chain Malanka, the number of electric cars in the country has already exceeded 1,600 while the amount of electricity they consume has quadrupled to reach 6.4 million kWh. Taking into account common international trends in favor of transition to environmentally friendly means of transportation and provided new stimulating measures are adopted in Belarus, experts expect the number of electric vehicles in the country to exceed 565,000 by 2030. They will consume about 2.3 billion kWh of electricity or 12.5% of the Belarusian nuclear power plant's output capacity.
Back in June 2020 the number of electric cars in Belarus was estimated at about 400. After VAT and the customs duty on importing electric vehicles were scrapped, more and more vehicles with green license plates started appearing in streets of Belarusian cities. Belorusneft expects the numbers to continue rising. Based on data of Bloomberg NEF and the International Energy Agency, experts expect the number of cars to be close to 5,000 at the end of 2021. According to the baseline scenario, the number of electric cars is expected to reach 25,800 in 2022, 54,000 in 2023, 82,800 in 2024, and 112,200 in 2025. According to a more aggressive scenario, the number of electric vehicles will exceed 230,000 by 2025.
For instance, after a number of similar stimulating measures (the cancellation of customs duties, VAT, and other mandatory payments) were enacted in Ukraine, the fleet of electric vehicles and plugin hybrid cars exceeded 40,000 although the number of such cars was as small as 4,460 in 2016. One should bear in mind that the number of available models and prices for electric cars have improved considerably since 2016. For instance, Dacia Spring will be the cheapest electric car in Europe. Taking into account subsidies the vehicle will be priced at about $12,890 in Hungary.
Belorusneft works to build new charging stations in Belarus taking into account these projections. In 2020 alone the number of charging stations doubled from 200 to 400. Superfast charging stations will be set up in the next few years. They will be capable of charging modern electric vehicles within minutes.
Plans have been made to introduce more electric buses in addition to electric cars in Belarus. The development of electric trucks is a possibility. The Belarusian automobile engineering company MAZ presented its first electric truck in September. The vehicle can travel for about 100km on one charge.
Additional measures to stimulate the use of electric vehicles were discussed during the electric mobility promotion forum E-Mobility 2020. The measures included preferential loans for buying electric vehicles, lower taxes for companies that embrace electric vehicles such as taxi service companies, delivery companies, car sharing companies, a permission for electric vehicles to use traffic lanes designated for public transportation, a permission for electric trucks to use toll roads for free. If all the necessary measures are implemented, by 2030 the share of electric vehicles in the national automobile fleet can be close to 14% or 565,000 electric vehicles that consume at least 2.3 billion kWh of electricity.
“Two years ago international experts said that by 2030 every fourth new car that sells will be an electric one. At present experts say it will be every second sold car. This change in projections is not surprising. For instance, the share of purely electric cars in total sales already exceeded 60% in Norway in 2020. The share of electrified cars in total sales in Europe has exceeded the share of diesel cars for the first time in history,” Belorusneft Deputy Director General Andrei Kotik said.
The executive pointed out that the world's largest automobile concerns have already declared they intend to focus on making only electric vehicles. All the BMW car factories in Germany will switch to making fully electric cars by 2022. Honda will stop making diesel power units in Europe by the end of 2020. Volkswagen will spend about €73 billion on electrification, hybrid power units, and digital technologies in the next five years. Nissan will start selling only electric cars and hybrid cars in China by 2025.