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Cyprus has a long way to go for electricity

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Making rapid progress in their spread, but still lagging far behind according to official Commission figures

Μακρύς ο δρόμος της Κύπ&rho ;ου για ηλερικ Cyprus show a significant increase in 2023, to 329 charging points from 67 recorded in 2022. 

<p><img decoding= By George Kakouris

Cyprus remains far behind in relation to the rest of the European Union in terms of the pan-European goals for the use of electric vehicles with batteries, according to the official data of the Commission's observatory on the use of alternative fuels.

As regards transport, the European Semester report states that “the transition to sustainable transport is still in its infancy”.

Growth is rapid and the targets set seem to be being achieved, however the country has one of the lowest rates of electric car use in the EU, according to what the Spring Semester report on Cyprus also records, while the transition towards sustainable transport is “in its infancy”.

According to data published on its website by the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO), the Commission's official page for monitoring the EU's relevant objectives, the percentage of battery electric vehicles (BEV) and hybrid cars in Cyprus stood at 0.37% compared to an EU average of 6.15%.

At the same time, EAFO research covering 12 countries (which does not include Cyprus) sees significant interest from consumers in switching to a battery electric car, but with the main concern being the cost as well as the distances a vehicle can travel such vehicle with a charge.

The report comes in the middle of the effort of the Commission as well as major member states to strengthen the competitiveness of the automotive industry among others. In fact, the Commission recently launched an investigation into China's subsidies to electric vehicle producers, wanting to reduce the risk of Chinese vehicles dominating the EU market. due to better prices.

The aim of promoting electric motoring is of course not only commercial, although institutions are now focusing on the economic viability and development opportunities of the environmental policies put in place in the last five years. One of these policies concerns the target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in transport by 90% by 2050, based on the European Green Deal and the Strategy for Sustainable and Smart Mobility.

In 2019, according to according to official figures cited by EAFO, transport was the sector with the largest carbon dioxide emissions, and 60.6% of emissions from this sector came from passenger cars.

Data for Cyprus

According to the latest data available on the EAFO website, in Cyprus the percentage of light vehicles (passengers and vans) with alternative fuels (electric BEVs and hybrid cars) is only 0.37% (3,184 vehicles in 2023 out of total 727,583), compared to 6.15% on average in the EU. (about 18 million out of 290 million vehicles).

Regarding the percentage of new vehicle registrations with alternative forms of fuel in Cyprus, this amounts to 9.28% (of which 5.65% are electric vehicles and 3.63% are hybrids). According to the website, these data refer to 2023 and have been collected by the observatory from different sources, with the last update on June 17 this year. In comparison, the percentage of new registrations in the E.U. for 2023 it was 25.36% and for 2024 so far it was 22.69%. However, regarding the development of charging points, the figures for Cyprus show a significant increase in 2023, to 329 charging points from 67 recorded in 2022 (an increase of 262). For 2024, the existence of 403 charging points is recorded so far (an increase of 74).

In relation to the goals set by the Cyprus authorities regarding the increase of electric and hybrid and other vehicles with alternative fuels until 2025 and also until 2030, they have been exceeded, which also applies to the goals for recharging infrastructure.

Good, but it costs

However, recent research by the European Alternative Fuels Observatory (EAFO) in twelve EU member states. (excluding Cyprus), consumer trends are positive towards battery electric vehicles (BEVs), with 57% of conventional car drivers considering making the switch, and 33% considering doing so in the next five years.

Participants recognized that the use of these vehicles helps with climate change mitigation goals, but also that these vehicles are cost-effective. However, two-thirds of respondents noted that the cost of buying such cars is a deterrent.

The EAFO report notes that the main barriers to the spread of BEV use over the past ten years have been high prices, the distances they could cover without needing a charge, and whether there were enough charging points. According to the observatory, progress has been made as the cost of car batteries has fallen by 90%, distances on a single charge have increased from around 100 to 150 kilometers to over 400 kilometers, and the network of charging points is improving.

< p>However, according to the findings, the main disadvantage of these vehicles for drivers is cost, with the price of a car listed as the number one barrier in all countries covered by the survey. The median price respondents as a whole were prepared to pay for a new or used BEV was €20k, with 46% of participating BEV drivers reporting paying over €40k, 40% paying between €20k and €40k euros, 11% between 10 and 20 thousand and 2% less than 10 thousand euros.

The distance that such a car can travel on one charge was an obstacle in the market for the respondents (from countries with longer distances from Cyprus), but again less important than the price.

34% of the drivers who took part in the survey stated that they prefer a vehicle that can cover minimum distances of 300 to 500 kilometers, while 47% prefer distances of 500 kilometers and more.

The EAFO survey, of official observatory of the E.U. (alternativefuels-observatory.ec.europa.eu/) for data on the use of alternative fuels and infrastructure and for monitoring related targets, had a sample of approximately 19,000 people from Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

“Kindergarten”

Despite the progress that has been made, the long road that Cyprus has to travel is also recorded by this year's report on the European Semester, which lists as one of the main challenges for the country's competitiveness the insufficient spread of renewable energy sources and the delaying the transition to a circular economy.

Especially with regard to transport, the European Semester report states that “the transition to sustainable transport is still in its infancy”, as the country apart from not having rail and only 13% travel by public transport, traffic congestion remains high.

At the same time, it is noted, the country has “one of the lowest rates” of electric car penetration in the EU, with electric battery cars to make up just 0.1% of the fleet. However, the report mentions “190 publicly accessible charging points”, or one for every six vehicles on average in the EU. to be one for every ten.

Source: www.kathimerini.com.cy

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