Sustainable energy supply and mobility features accompany the basic upgrade of the major public smart parking lot in downtown Belgrade.
The results of 14 months of works in the makeover project, which added two floors or four levels with 217 spots just for local residents, were presented to the public by the Serbian capital’s mayor Siniša Mali and other top officials.
Free bicycles are available for users, to help them move around the city centre, where four-wheelers are being banned from pedestrian zones that are being widened and connected in accordance with a plan that dates back three decades.
Six 22 kW chargers with alternating current for electric cars are included in the service, and solar panels on the roof are supplying the LED (light-emitting diode) equipment.
The multilevel facility at Obilićev venac is part of an endeavor to shift activities and communications towards big rivers Sava and Danube, which are just downhill from the main square, the mayor said. „This is the first garage that earned the Parksmart certificate… There are flowers here now and it’s heaven for pedestrians,“ Mali stressed and added the city assembly would soon decide on another step: public–private partnerships for four planned underground garages, to reduce the glut.
There will be 450 slots for parking when another unit is opened in October nearby, below a new shopping mall, said Milutin Folić, the city architect. They combine with those that were now opened and compare to only 118 places that were recently abolished in a reconstruction project in the centre, he added. The Obilićev venac garage now features 804 slots and one entrance was closed. Citizens will be able to park their own bicycles as well, officials noted.
Infrastructure and subsidies precondition for massive deployment of EVs
Four vehicles from BMW and Volkswagen’s pool of electric cars and six chargers were presented on the occasion. BMW’s i8 was the most attractive to the guests attending the ceremony. However, BMW’s i3 and Volkswagen’s e-up! and e-Golf may be more affordable to the majority of drivers from Serbia who will buy EVs in near future thus contributing to CO2 emissions reduction.
Apart from providing infrastructure for the vehicles, which is an important precondition, more serious involvement of the state through a supporting scheme mechanism will be required in order to achieve a massive deployment of EVs.
The introduction of electric cars wasn’t envisaged without support from the government, said Filip Mitrović, product manager from Volkswagen Serbia. The company’s electric vehicles, presented at the launch of the facility, will have high import tariffs in Serbia as long as batteries that are installed aren’t produced in the European Union, he told Balkan Green Energy News.
The firm’s representative added the adoption of the examples set by Hungary and Macedonia, with subsidiaries of up to EUR 7,000, would lead to a drop in the price of VW’s cheapest electrified vehicles to EUR 25,000 or less. The introduction of the category of vehicles on the domestic market is promoted by the installation of chargers in garages, shopping malls and hotels, in his view. He stressed IKEA would roll out the service soon.