iHNed: Electric car market set to take off next year

Photo: Jan Rosenauer / Czech Radio

A major increase in electric cars driving on Czech roads is expected in the coming years, with some experts predicting up to a quarter of a million electricity powered cars will be in the country by 2030. A gradual increase in the number of these vehicles will start next year, with the country’s largest car manufacturer Škoda planning on selling around 2,500, news site iHNed reports.

Photo: Jan Rosenauer / Czech Radio
The famous Czech automobile producer is counting on introducing 30 new Škoda models by 2022, with a third being electric or electrified vehicles, the head of the company’s Czech branch, Luboš Vlček, said in the news site’s online debate programme.

Mr. Vlček went on to say that the growth of electro mobility is a necessity for car manufacturers in Europe, as it is the only way to fulfil the European Union’s ambitious emission limits, which will make it obligatory in 2030 for newly produced cars to release less than 50g of carbon dioxide, iHNed reports.

The production of electric cars will give producers the chance to reach over the emission limit in other models, particularly the large SUVs.

However, in order for electric cars to get properly established in the country, the number of charging stations has to grow. According to Pavel Cyrani from the Czech energy giant ČEZ, who was also a guest in the debating programme, the rate of growth of charging stations is currently in tens being established across the country every month, making it likely that by the onset of 2020 there will be around 1,000 charging stations in the country.

ČEZ, which currently controls around half of the stations, plans to build a further 500 within the next few years, but there is still a long way to go, as the country should have around 20,000 charging stations by 2025 to ensure easy availability of electricity said Industry and Trade Minister Karel Havlíček, citing studies.

The state currently plays a large role in the establishment of the necessary infrastructure for electro mobility. The Ministry of Transport, for example, is set to spend 800 million by 2023 on funding charging station construction, iHNed reports.

Mr. Havlíček went on to say that the greatest risks with electro mobility are lithium batteries, which are mainly produced in Asia.

The importance of supporting European lithium battery production is also realised by Czech Škoda chief Luboš Vlček, who said that Škoda’s parent company Volkswagen recently bought a 20 percent stake in the Swedish battery producer Northvolt.