Croatian Project Involving 100,000 Chargers for E-Cars Being Prepared

By 14 December 2020

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes on the 13th of December, 2020, the Association of Electric Car Drivers, "Circuit/Strujni krug", has embarked on a Croatian project to install 100,000 chargers for e-cars on light poles along city car parks. It is estimated that this Croatian project could come with a shiny price tag of up to 150 million euros, and they expect that it could be realised over a period of three years.

Electric cars are becoming more and more popular on roads around the world every year, so the global charger infrastructure must be adapted for them. Back in pre-pandemic 2019, 730 fully electric vehicles were registered here in Croatia, and given the recent award of incentives for their purchase, it is expected that this number will increase far above 1000 by the end of this year.

There are already a large number of charging stations for electric cars throughout Croatia, but as the number of vehicles grows, the number of chargers should also be increased in order to make it easier for owners and drivers to use them on a daily basis - that's where this praiseworthy Croatian project comes in,

Hrvoje Prpic, the president of the "Strujni krug" association, explained that the technology of electric vehicles is such that the number of chargers isn't so important for their infrastructure, but their availability really is.

"Currently, there are two chargers for each electric vehicle. The main problem with chargers isn't their number or their charging speed, but the fact that the ‘most elegant’ solution for the comfortable use of electric vehicles is a charger that will recharge their vehicle overnight. It can be a charger in their garage or in an allotted parking space. However, the problem arises when the owner lives in an apartment and doesn't have a dedicated place to charge his or her vehicle,'' explained Prpic.

He added that the plan is to place chargers on light poles located next to public parking spaces across Croatia, which would be slow enough for the vehicle to be left overnight and also be enough to provide all the car needs the next day in those 8-10 hours.

''There will need to be payment for the use of these chargers, but the amount will be very little. The goal is to keep the price of charging for the electricity needed to cover about 100 kilometres below 10 kuna,'' said Prpic, adding that this would require minimal technical upgrades, given that electric vehicle chargers cannot merely be placed the same tariff as public lighting is.

This Croatian project is not just an idea - it has already started to be realised. As they claim from the aforementioned association, they're currently gathering a special working group with all relevant representatives in Croatia. These are five potential operators, two equipment manufacturers and associations that deal with "Smart city" solutions. They say that almost all Croatian producers are included, but others are also invited to join.

"The whole project will cost around 150 million euros and the goal is to use the European fund for recovery after the coronavirus pandemic. If everything goes according to plan, after the realisation of this Croatian project, Croatia would have complete coverage with chargers, all light bulbs would be replaced with LEDs, and all this without a single kuna spent by the Croatian Government. Cities have interesting locations and are ready to put them into proper use in order to further develop their communities and increase the quality of life of their citizens, and it'll cost them almost nothing at all,'' concluded Hrvoje Prpic.

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