Thursday, 28 July 2022

Amended Road Safety Act In Force As Of Saturday

ZAGREB, 28 July 2022 - The amended Road Safety Act, introduces a number of changes, notably regarding the use of electric vehicles such as scooters, as well as the obligation for medical professionals to notify drivers in case they are temporarily unfit to drive, goes into force on Saturday.

The Ministry of the Interior notes that the new law regulates for the first time the use of electric scooters, unicycles, Segways and other similar vehicles.

The law defines areas where such vehicles may be used and the conditions they and their drivers have to meet in order to participate in traffic.

Under the law, all persons riding such vehicles have to wear a helmet and not only those above 16, as is the case with bicycles. They must use cycle lanes or, if there are none, ride slowly along sidewalks and in traffic-calming zones.

At nighttime or during periods of low visibility, all persons riding bicycles, scooters and similar electric vehicles must wear reflective vests or other reflective gear.

E-scooter riders, as well as cyclists wearing headphones in both ears, face a fine of HRK 300.

An electric scooter with a motor of more than 0.6kW or one that can develop a speed of more than 25 kmph must not be used in public traffic if it does not have a speed limiter or is certified and, if possible, registered, the Strujni Krug e-mobility association has said.

The Ministry of the Interior also recalls that the amended law introduces an obligation for doctors examining or treating a driver as well as driver's GP to notify the driver in case the driver is temporarily unfit to drive and to enter this in their medical record.

Doctors and drivers who fail to comply with the new regulations will be fined.

A person may be temporarily unfit to drive for a maximum six months, after which the driver need not undergo another medical checkup.

The new law regulates for the first time the participation of horse riders in road traffic and introduces a new term denoting a fully autonomous vehicle, a vehicle that can operate without a driver.

The law also envisages penalties for drivers using partially autonomous vehicles as fully autonomous ones, without the driver sitting in the driver's seat.

For more, check out our politics section.

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Croatian Government Incentives for Electric Vehicle Purchases Begin

May the 22nd, 2022 - Croatian Government incentives for the purchase of electric vehicles have begun, but precisely how does one get to the magical 70,000 kuna figure?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, the Environmental Protection Fund is preparing this year's public call for co-financing the purchase of more energy efficient vehicles, which has been very popular with Croatian customers for years. Vecernji list learns that a public call will be published in June.

"In 2022, the Fund provided 108.3 million kuna to encourage the purchase of energy-efficient vehicles. Compared to last year, we've increased the total budget for both people and companies, which will now amount to 103.3 million kuna, last year we provided 90 million kuna, while the remaining budget of 5 million kuna is intended for the public sector. The method of application for both people and for companies will be the same as it was last year.

At the end of May, we intend to publish a public call for expressions of interest towards car distributors, and in June, a public call for co-financing the purchase of electric vehicles for people and companies. The amount of Croatian Government incentives per vehicle won't change this year and will amount to anywhere between 20 and 70 thousand kuna, depending on the category of vehicle,'' they commented from the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency.

This means that this year, too, the implementation of Croatian Government incentives for the purchase of environmentally friendly vehicles will be carried out according to the procedure which was initially introduced last year, which has proven to be more efficient than the previous practice. To be more specific, last year, a new, changed procedural method was introduced, according to which the famous ''first come, first serve'' method was avoided, ie the model according to which Croatian Government incentives were only given to those who managed to apply first.

Aside from the fact that such a system was criticised by both people and by numerous legal entities, it was also unsuccessful because in the end, only 50 percent of the people to whom the incentive was approved, actually ended up using the incentive for their purchase.

Under this new system, people and legal entities no longer apply to the public call directly, but through authorised motor vehicle dealers headquartered here in Croatia. As such, this year, the Fund will first announce a public call to which dealers will be able to apply, who will then register their points of sale and available vehicle models through the Fund's application. At their points of sale, people and legal entities will receive an offer for a vehicle and the dealers will apply for Croatian Government incentives for them.

Those who want incentives will still have to be quick off the mark, meaning they'll need to prepare before the announcement of the public call, which means they'll have to fully study the offer of vehicles for which they can apply for an incentive and which are offered on the Croatian market, and there are more and more of them as time goes on.

The procedure after a successful incentive reservation is, therefore, just like it was last year. The buyer will be obliged to pay a minimum advance of 7 percent of the requested funds to the Fund, for example, if an incentive of 70,000 kuna is requested, the trader will have to be paid 4,900 kuna. The deadline for delivery and use of Croatian Government incentives will be nine months from the approval of co-financing.

By far the most sought-after co-financed vehicles last year were electric cars, for which 70,000 kuna will be available this year as well. For example, last year the funds were reserved for 1943 vehicles, of which 1785 were electric, 157 were plug-in hybrids and one was a natural gas vehicle. For plug-in hybrids (plug-in rechargeable hybrids) it will still be possible to get 40,000 kuna in incentives, and for electric vehicles of the L1-L7 category (mopeds, motorcycles, light quadricycles) 20,000 kuna will be available.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle 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.

Wednesday, 14 October 2020

PM Plenković and Mate Rimac Discuss Electric Vehicles Industry in Croatia

October 14, 2020 – Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković met with Mate Rimac, founder and CEO of Rimac Automobili company. At the meeting, the potential of the electric vehicles industry in Croatia was discussed.

As stated in the announcement of the Government of the Republic of Croatia, the investments planned by Rimac Automobili have a broader context for the development of local and national transport, as well as educational and research and development infrastructure.

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković expressed his support for the development initiatives and investments of the company Rimac Automobili and announced institutional support to all investors who develop and apply the latest technologies in Croatia.

They also discussed projects that could be included in the list of projects for funding from upcoming assistance programs, including the EU Recovery and Resilience Fund and the new EU Multiannual Financial Framework.

Mate Rimac also presented the planned construction of the Campus, which will include the company's headquarters, modern research and development facilities, a smart factory of high-tech components and electric cars, and additional accompanying facilities. The investment in the Campus project will enable the realization of an increasing number of projects that the company is engaged in, as well as the serial production, and it is planned to create a total of 2,300 workplaces for highly educated professionals.

Furthermore, the company plans to build a Center for Testing Technology and Components for Electric Vehicles, which is necessary to meet the growing demand for the company's services and expand services to test battery systems, propulsion systems, and environmental friendliness of such systems.

Along with Plenković and Rimac, the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Tomislav Ćorić, Minister of Physical Planning, Construction and State Property Darko Horvat, and Minister of Regional Development and EU Funds Nataša Tramišak were also present at the meeting.

 

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Monday, 5 October 2020

252 Electric Vehicle Chargers Available on One Platform in Six Countries

ZAGREB, October 5, 2020 - A total of 252 fast and ultra-fast chargers in members of the NEXT-E charging infrastructure project for electric vehicles will be integrated onto e-mobility digital specialist Hubject's intercharge platform, Hrvatska Elektroprivreda (HEP), a NEXT-E member, said on Monday.

The members of NEXT-E and Hubject have joined forces to make their combined fast and ultra-fast chargers available on one EV-charging application across six bordering countries: Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Romania.

According to a HEP press release, "222 multistandard fast chargers (50 kW) and 30 ultra-fast chargers (150-350 kW) will be integrated onto Hubject’s intercharge platform, the world’s largest cross-provider charging network, further enabling long-distance travel in the region."

Currently, access to EV-chargers is possible with the application of the participating company that has deployed the charger, leading to barriers in roaming and long-distance cross border EV.

The addition of 222 fast and 30 ultra-fast chargers will make it possible for users to charge their car at all charging stations of the NEXT-E project through Hubject’s intercharge platform, thus widely expanding the mobility of e-mobility customers in all NEXT-E countries.

"Interoperability and e-roaming are essential features of an efficient Electric Vehicle recharging network and provide for a seamless ‘electric journey along the European road network," said Richard Ferrer, head of the Transport Innovation Team at the Innovation & Networks Executive Agency.

"Recharging an Electric Vehicle has to be very easy, reliable and affordable for European citizens. The availability of this service on the Hubject platform is a significant step in that direction, thanks to the pioneering spirit of public and private companies representing an entire ecosystem from energy to automotive, mobility and software industries. Electromobility is becoming a reality in Europe! The European Commission and INEA will continue to support such projects and economic operators through the various programmes to achieve the objectives of the European Green Deal," he added.

The NEXT-E project, co-financed by the EU's Connecting Europe Facility, includes cooperation between four energy companies - E.ON Group entities from the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia, HEP- Hrvatska elektroprivreda from Croatia,  MOL Group entities from Hungary, Croatia, Czech Republic, Romania and Slovenia, Petrol Group in Slovenia and Croatia - and two car manufacturers - to deploy 222 fast and 30 ultra-fast chargers in service stations across 6 Central and Eastern European countries.

HEP's network comprises over 200 ELEN chargers across Croatia. HEP financed their installation with its own funds and plans to have 250 chargers by the end of the year.

 

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Wednesday, 26 September 2018

Koprivnica Provides Free Public Transportation with Electric Buses

The programme is called BusKo.

Friday, 13 July 2018

Croatian Company Viking Obtains 2 Million Kuna From EU

Good news for further development with the welcome help of European Union funds.

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Home County of Best Electric Vehicles Boasts Most OPG's

Zagreb County's 25th birthday was celebrated with a fair, competitions, a concert, and a lot of food.

Friday, 6 July 2018

EU Funds Help Croatian Company Develop Electric Vehicle

While it isn't quite a supercar in question, a massive investment of 30.4 million kuna, of which 15.9 million kuna come from European Union funds, has been poured into the project.

Friday, 15 June 2018

Rijeka Gets First E-Charger for Electric Vehicles!

A step into the future of driving for Rijeka!

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