Electromobility – electric vehicles
Let’s answer exactly that – what this “electromobility” is all about? In essence, the concept envisions the use of vehicles with electric motors, including cars, scooters, motorcycles, bicycles, trams, trolleybuses, trains or buses. Electric vehicles were developed in response to the increasing depletion of natural resources such as natural gas and oil, and as a solution that has a positive impact on the environment. There are many advantages to this kind of vehicles, starting with much lower operating costs to higher comfort of travelling, owing to the much quieter operation of an electric car.
Electromobility around the world
According to ING experts, in 18 years’ time car manufacturers will completely stop producing cars equipped with internal combustion engines and the European roads will be full of vehicles powered by alternative fuels. The potential of the emerging market is best illustrated by the forecast indicating that by 2040, as many as 500 million electric cars will be on the roads worldwide (out of a total of 2 billion vehicles), and as a consequence, we can also expect a sharp increase in sales of electric vehicles. According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance forecast, as many as 41 million electric cars will be sold in 2040. The expected market growth is many times higher than the production potential of today's electric car manufacturers. This opportunity can be exploited by new companies that want to start their business in this industry sector.
In Europe, Norway remains an unquestionable leader in electromobility. In the case of this country, 2017 was a breakthrough, when for the first time in history 50% of the cars sold on the market were equipped with electric, hybrid and hydrogen-powered motors. Currently, there are nearly 200 thousand cars of this type on Norwegian roads. Thanks to this result, Norway has the highest ratio of electric cars per 1000 inhabitants in the world – 23.
In Asia, China is leading the way in the effective implementation of electromobility solutions, since in 2011–2017, a total of 1,720,000 hybrid and electric cars were sold in the country. Public transit is an important part of the e-mobility revolution in China. In 2017, the entire bus fleet in the city of Shenzhen – which currently numbers 16,000 buses – was replaced by electric vehicles. What is more, the total number of zero-emission buses in China amounts to 350,000. The country is also systematically developing a charging station network, with 450,000 such stations found across China.
Electromobility in Poland
Analysing the global statistics on the growth rate of electric vehicles and being aware of the requirements for improving air quality imposed by the European Union, it is clear that soon Poland, like the rest of the world, will have to enter an era of electricity in the automotive industry, which is all the more true as more and more countries announce legal restrictions on the registration of cars powered by internal combustion engines. In a response to this trend and in line with the guidelines of the European Union, a package of regulations aimed at developing electromobility was worked out. The package encompasses: Electromobility Development Plan, National Framework for Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Development Policy, Act on Electromobility and Alternative Fuels and the Low-Emission Transport Fund.
The awareness of progressive electrification in the automotive industry among Poles is growing at a steady pace. According to a survey conducted at the end of 2017 by Kantar TNS on behalf of Electromobility Poland an ideal urban electric car according to Polish drivers should cost 60,000 PLN and have a range of up to 150 km. What the respondents also consider to be important is at least four seats, a warranty and an extensive service network. The most important incentives when buying electric vehicles in Poland are financial benefits, including exemption from excise duty for electric cars and free parking in city centres. It turns out that as many as 73% of drivers participating in the survey considered buying an electric car. What encourages them to do so is their lower operating cost and environmental friendliness, but they are ultimately deterred by the high purchase price. At the same time, Polish drivers are open to alternative solutions, such as battery subscription (at an average price of about 200 PLN per month) and car-sharing. As far as the range of an electric car is concerned, more than half (55%) of all respondents accept the operating range of up to 200 km, while the majority (48%) claims 50 kilometres to be the optimal distance between charging stations. While Polish drivers do not believe a long range as a necessary trait of an urban electric car, they have high expectations when it comes to charging time. 53% think it should take no more than 2 hours to fully charge the battery. 97% of all respondents believe that the price of an urban electric car should be lower or the same as that of a car equipped with an internal combustion engine in the same class.
The greatest dynamics in the development of electromobility in Poland can be observed in public transit sector, as the number of registered buses powered by alternative sources is growing at a record pace. In 2018, the share of the low-emission fleet in total bus sales was the highest in history – during that period, 317 green buses were registered (54 CNG-powered vehicles, 63 electric buses and 200 hybrid vehicles).
Finally, it is worth mentioning the data from Automotive Industry, a report prepared by PZPM and KPMG, which show that in 2018, 531,900 new passenger cars were registered in Poland and that Poles increasingly buy cars with petrol-powered, as well as alternative (especially hybrid) engines, all while diesel engine cars see a drop in their popularity.