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When is the era of electric vehicles coming to Serbia?

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In Serbia last year, out of a total of 24,500 newly registered cars, only 200 were pure electric vehicles. Such cars can be bought at a price of 20,000 euros and up, depending on the brand and the range that the vehicle can reach between two charges, and the state provides a subsidy of 5,000 euros.

Research by the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed that the number of electric vehicles in a country mostly depends on the average net income of the population, so the question arises whether subsidies are sufficient to motivate citizens to buy electric cars and whether this purchase is profitable in Serbia.

Manufacturers suggest that one can think about different facilities. This year, Porsche delivered a total of 61 electric cars from the ID family to the market of Serbia and Montenegro, which is a little more than five percent of the company’s sales.

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“In my opinion, the subsidies are not so well distributed because the state continues to subsidize hybrid-powered vehicles, which is already in the past,” Slobodan Pešić told Euronews Serbia.

Toyota Serbia and Montenegro started selling electric vehicles on the Serbian market only after the car fair that was held this year in March.

“The interest is good, but we cannot say that these are large quantities and worthy of praise – about fifteen vehicles,” Toyota Serbia PR Aleksandar Andrić told Euronews Serbia.

What are the experiences of other countries?

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When talking about other types of incentives, the example of Albania is often cited, which completely exempted buyers of electric vehicles from taxes. This led to the fact that the sale of electric vehicles in that country jumped to 20 percent of total sales, while in Serbia that percentage is below one percent.

Other countries also provide subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles. Thus, there are two different incentive systems in Slovenia.

All citizens in that country who are thinking about buying an electric vehicle can count on 4,500 euros in subsidies, which is less than in Serbia.

On the other hand, companies in Slovenia are exempt from paying taxes, as is the case in Albania and Norway, where 90 percent of the total sales are purely electric cars, and the Norwegians are currently leading in Europe.

How to make a faster transition to electric cars?

The prices of electric cars in Serbia are still high. There are no smaller and cheaper models and there is a lack of infrastructure, so the question arises, what is necessary to drive more electric cars in Serbia?

Primož Lemez from Slovenian E-mobility tells Euronews Serbia that the experiences of other countries have shown that education comes first.

“People need to know what electric cars are, that they are not dangerous, that the batteries do not burn, that they have enough range. Another thing is the infrastructure. The infrastructure is problematic in almost all European countries and in Norway. The only country now that has a good infrastructure is the Netherlands . All other countries have big problems, including Slovenia and Croatia. This year I expect chaos at the chargers when people from Western Europe come to the Adriatic with their electric cars,” said Lemez.

Emphasizing that infrastructure is extremely important, Lemez stated that due to the price of electric cars, the salary is also important.

What other incentives could there be?

The Serbian Association of Importers of Vehicles and Parts suggests that the authorities review what other incentives can be given for electric cars, such as, for example, allowing the driving of electric cars in a yellow lane and for such vehicles to have free and cheaper parking.

“We want to talk to the competent authorities, to see what other types of incentives can be given to buyers of electric vehicles. We have launched this initiative, we will probably have the first meetings on this topic after the holiday season. In addition to the financial incentives that already exist through subsidies from the Ministry of Protection environment, we also propose various types of non-financial incentives,” Boris Ćorović, Secretary General of the Serbian Association of Vehicle and Parts Importers, told Euronews Serbia.

According to him, it is also necessary to prepare the infrastructure for electromobility and to work on increasing the number of chargers, especially fast chargers.

“These are some of the topics that we want to raise in the working group with the competent state bodies concerned with that topic. We have initiated new discussions through the Serbian Chamber of Commerce. We have been planning since the fall to talk with representatives of the Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Environmental Protection , the City of Belgrade and other local governments,” said Ćorić.

What are the costs for an electric car?

Electric vehicles are exempt from vehicle use tax, which further reduces registration costs compared to vehicles with internal combustion engines. Insiders say that the maintenance of electric cars is much simpler and requires less costs, because many spare and consumable parts that exist in internal combustion engines do not exist in electric cars.

“The price of a kilowatt hour – for some 100 kilometers at the most, 200 dinars are needed. It is clear that the savings are enormous, unlike internal combustion cars, which also have spark plugs, the famous floating flywheels, and engines and other components. Electric cars do not have all that, so there’s no need to change all that. The services are usually done every 15,000 kilometers. The hourly work of a mechatronic technician is paid from 1,800 to 5,000 dinars. What’s also important is that the manufacturers provide a seven-year warranty on the battery itself,” she said. Is Zorana Đorić from the service “I drive on electricity”

The range of electric cars Is from 100 to 800 kilometers. Drivers say that a greater number of chargers and their installation at gas stations would make them feel more relaxed, which is largely the case in the countries of the European Union. Until then, they can rely on their own network, which is not the case with tenants in residential buildings.

“We will also have to change the legal procedures so that private investors would also be interested in investing in the infrastructure for electric vehicles,” said Slobodan Pešić from the company Porsche Serbia and Montenegro.

Ćorić stated that in the long term, electric cars are definitely more profitable and that this can also be seen through the price of energy, because the battery can be charged between 20 and 25 euros and a distance of between 300 and 400 kilometers can be covered, depending on model.

“So if you look at a longer period of time, for example, six, seven or eight years of using a car, they are definitely more profitable. If you look purely in the short term, their price is significantly higher than classic cars, but in the long term they are more profitable and plus they have a positive effect on environmental protection,” said Ćorić.

He stated that In the first five months of this year, 81 new electric cars and 71 mini vans, i.e. light commercial vehicles, were sold, and last year a total of 113 vehicles were sold.

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