Friday, 18 February 2022

Members of Parliament Support Building Charging Stations for Vehicles Running on Electricity, Hydrogen, Gas

ZAGREB, 18 Feb 2022 - Croatian parliamentarians on Thursday supported amendments to a law on the establishment of infrastructure for alternative fuels, underlining the importance of building as many charging stations for alternative fuels as possible.

A state secretary at the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Ministry, Josip Bilaver, said that the amendments were aimed at developing infrastructure for alternative fuels (electricity, hydrogen, biofuels, natural gas) as a precondition for their use in transport.

This would help develop a sustainable market and transport system based on alternative fuels as well as their minimum impact on the environment and society, he said.

He noted that the bill ensured alignment with EU regulations and created preconditions for a better provision of services for users of alternative fuels by establishing a register of charging stations for alternative fuels.

1,300 new charging stations in next 2-3 years

Noting that the ministry was not satisfied with the number of charging stations for alternative fuels and their capacity, Bilaver said that under the National Recovery and Resilience Plan, in the next two to three years 1,300 new charging stations would be built, of which 200 would be fast and 1,100 standard.

Anka Mrak Taritaš (Centre/GLAS) said that Croatia was dealing with the topic of alternative fuels not because it wanted to but because it had to, as it was an EU topic.

She noted that public transport was the biggest source of pollution in road, rail and other transport.

The key question, therefore, is what kind of fuels public transport vehicles will use, she said, wondering what Croatia would subsidize and what it would invest in.

The MP said that in 2021 more than 50% of vehicles sold on the European market were electric vehicles and that they would arrive in Croatia as a tourist country. Important for visitors will be what kind of charging stations we have and how fast they are. "We have to take that into account as well," she said.

SDP MP Mirela Ahmetović said that Croatia is aligning with a 2014 EU directive and its amended version from 2019, while the EC has published a proposal for a new regulation for infrastructure for alternative fuels, which should go into force already this year to encourage a faster transition to mobility with low or zero emissions, with appropriate infrastructure for vehicles powered by alternative fuels.

And we are introducing a directive that we will soon have to repeal, she warned.

Željko Pavić of the Social Democrats believes it is important that as a tourist destination Croatia legally defines the development of infrastructure for hydrogen charging stations also for vessels due to boaters who, he said, will definitely start using hydrogen as a fuel for their vessels. This is also important for people living on islands and shipping companies that will seek an alternative for oil products, he said.

Miro Totgergeli of the HDZ group said that over the past five years a large number of charging stations for electric vehicles had been built but apart from liquefied petroleum gas, the use of other alternative fuels for transport was rather limited in Croatia. The market for vehicles that do not use oil products is also very small, he said.

Noting that the EU would reduce energy consumption by 36% by 2030 to achieve the target of carbon neutrality by 2050, Vesna Vučemilović of the Croatian Sovereignists said that the volume of transport in the EU was constantly growing, which would have an effect on climate change, the quality of air, and infrastructure.

She also warned that a biodiesel factory in Vukovar was closed down in 2016 because there was no market for it.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 14 January 2022

By European Union Standards, Croatian Charging Stations Must Increase

January the 14th, 2022 - There needs to be many more Croatian charging stations dotted around the country to meet EU standards, despite the fact that the purchase of electric cars in the bloc is still somewhat modest.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, although the number of electric cars in some European Union countries has already reached an enviable level, the fact is that in most others it is modest, to say the very least. The main reason, with the still relatively high purchase price, is the insufficient charging infrastructure for such vehicles across the bloc.

There are around 600 Croatian charging stations located up and down the country, suitable for about 2,000 electric cars. It may seem to those not in the loop that this is enough, because, by comparison, for the 2.8 million registered Croatian petrol and diesel motor vehicles, we have 800 fuel stations.

However, e-mobility technology is somewhat different and requires longer and more frequent charging and as such a denser network of charging stations, which in turn entails the adjustment of a country's electricity network and overall capacities. This could soon be applied here in Croatia because, according to the Croatian National Association for e-Mobility Circuit, which is part of the European Association for Electromobility - AVERE, the new EU plan is for member states to create e-charging capacities at level the level of 10% of the total fleet, which means that within the domestic, framework we would theoretically need to have have tens of thousands of Croatian charging stations that could theoretically serve 280 thousand vehicles.

National goals

''For the last six months, we've been working hard on the new regulation for alternative fuel infrastructure (AFIR), which is a strategic document of the European Union that defines the use of alternative energy sources, namely electric vehicles. The difference between the previous directive and the new regulation is that this regulation is mandatory, and the directive serves solely as advice to member states. We're currently working on regulations that will oblige Croatia to adhere to these new rules. With the arrival of these regulations, we can expect an even greater number of super fast vehicle chargers, not only for personal transport, but also for truck traffic on the stretch from Varazdin to Rijeka and Zagreb to Ljubljana in Slovenia,'' explained Hrvoje Prpic, President of the Circuit.

He added that the new AFIR regulation significantly better defines the publicly available infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, and most importantly, the regulation seeks to ensure the simplest possible increase in the number of charging stations across the European Union. AVERE's proposal is for each country in the EU to install enough infrastructure for at least 10% of the total number of vehicles registered in the country, which in Croatia, for example, would be much more infrastructure than is currently needed for the existing number of electric vehicles.

Circuit believes that this is a great way to motivate future vehicle buyers to consider switching to zero-CO2 vehicles, because in that case they would come to empty Croatian charging stations and not worry about needing to find a place to charge their car, and on the other hand, these charging stations would be co-financed by the EU, so such expansion of such infrastructure would not cost the state all that much.

In addition to that, AFIR would set goals in order to significantly strengthen the infrastructure on the TEN-T corridor - a single trans-European road network that connects all major transport points in Europe.

This means that the number of charging stations for light and heavy electric vehicles would be further increased across Croatia and in its neighbouring countries. AFIR requires that at least one charging station for electric trucks or buses with two chargers up to 350 kW be available, and for light passenger vehicles, there must be at least one charging station with two chargers up to 150 kW on the TEN-T corridor by the year 2025.

By 2030, that number of fuel stations must be doubled. On all additional roads connected to the TEN-T corridor, EU member states must ensure a uniform network of fuel stations every 100 kilometres. According to AFIR, charging for vehicle charging should also be possible with the help of bank cards, so all charging station operators should install card readers at their future Croatian charging stations.

This would greatly facilitate the charging of the vehicles belonging to many electric vehicle drivers, especially for tourists who are unfamiliar with the charger network in the country they are visiting.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

By 2020, Electric Charging Stations Every 50 km on Croatian Highways

More than 300 applications for subsidies for alternatively fueled vehicles were received by the Environment protection and energy efficiency fund, they are expecting an even larger number of applicants in 2016.