The Croatian government is planning to restore subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles as of the year 2018, the acting Director of that country’s Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund Ljubomir Majdandžić told a conference in Zagreb. Experts at the conference titled Effects of Technology on the Development of Mobility said the subsidies will probably not include hybrid vehicles.
Croatia subsidized the purchase of both solely electric and hybrid vehicles in 2014 and 2015 paying out a total of HRK 50 million (about EUR 6.6 milllion) for the purchase of 1,428 vehicles and investing another HRK 30 million (EUR 4 million) in infrastructure.
Majdandžić told the conference, organized by the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), that he expects the government to earmark HRK 85 million (EUR 11 million) for the electric vehicle subsidies. Croatian media said there is speculation that the criteria that have to be met to receive the subsidies will be made stricter to exclude hybrid vehicles.
According to data from the Croatian Center for Vehicles (CVH), a total of 1,843 hybrid vehicles were registered in the country in 2016 along with 224 solely electric vehicles and 445 electric mopeds and bicycles.
The conference participants warned that obstacles still exist in Croatia and other countries which prevent a significant rise in sales of electric vehicles. They said the biggest problem in Croatia is the fact that electric vehicles fall under the jurisdiction of several ministries – traffic, energy and environmental protection.
Another problem cited at the conference was infrastructure. Most towns and cities have charging stations for electric vehicles but there are very few on the highways through the country.
Experts also warned that the existing 201 charging stations cannot be operated free of charge as they are now and will have to become commercial sooner or later. Croatia has plans to raise the number of charging stations to 345, Croatian media reported, adding that plans are being drawn up to commercialize the charging stations.