Czech firms slow to invest in environmentally friendly cars

Photo: Kristýna Maková

Companies in the Czech Republic are relatively cool on purchasing environmentally friendly cars, suggests a new survey cited by the Czech News Agency.

In the face of high prices and a scarcity of charging stations, alternative fuel vehicles make up only around 4 percent of the fleets of domestic firms.

Fourteen percent of Czech companies possess at least one car that doesn’t run on diesel or petrol. The European average in this respect is 34 percent, according to the authors of the report, the leasing company Arval.

It found that out of a total of 8.1 million cars, approximately 200,000 electric or electric hybrid cars are registered in the Czech Republic.

One of the chief reasons for the low share is the high purchase prices of alternative fuel vehicles. Electric cars, for instance, are about twice as expensive as those with internal combustion engines.

Photo: Khalil Baalbaki

Another factor that experts say represents a brake on the greater expansion of such cars is the Czech Republic’s low number of charging stations for electric vehicles, as well as the duration of the charging time they offer.

Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, on the other hand, have limited parking options as they are not permitted to enter the majority of underground garages.

For these reasons Czech companies still prefer to invest in cars with a classic internal combustion engine. Diesel cars make up 54 percent of company cars, with petrol-fueled ones accounting for 42 percent.

When it comes to environmental cars, firms in the Czech Republic lag behind their counterparts in such states as Turkey and Russia.

The survey found that domestic companies that do choose alternative vehicles tend to mostly for full hybrids and CNG-fueled cars.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles are the least popular alternative option, though sales have been climbing in recent times.

The Czech government does support alternative fuel cars, through a reduced or zero toll rate or road tax.

Indeed an increase in the percentage of environmentally friendly cars is one of the priorities of the Czech National Action Plan for Clean Mobility.

The state wants to focus primarily on electric vehicles. By 2030 it wants to expand their number to hundreds of thousands, or up to half a million, if all goes well.

About 3,000 electric cars are registered in the Czech Republic at present. There are around 200,000 gas-powered or hybrid cars.