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14 June, 2024
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Petrol stations open their doors to electric mobility

The installation of chargers in the existing network has begun in all cities

Maria Eracleous

Maria Eracleous

Petrolina Holdings Public announced last month the installation of the first state-of-the-art electric vehicle rapid charging charger at its petrol station in Larnaca's GSZ district. It also stated its intention to build a comprehensive network of electric vehicle charging stations by 2023, with ultra-fast and fast charging chargers in all provinces. Coral, another oil company, is gradually transitioning into the electrification era and is planning to invest in this sector. It has already stated its intention to invest 650 thousand euros in the construction of a petrol station on Pericles Street in Strovolos, which will include an electric car charging area, and is currently preparing an environmental impact assessment study.

The project's cost is estimated to be 650 thousand euros, with a construction time of 2.5-3 months after permits are obtained. In the context of investing in the provision of electromobility services, the company's country manager Michalis Fotiadis told K that "2023 is the year in which we will invest in electric chargers, in most of our network". Based on this plan, the company intends to install chargers in Nicosia and Strovolos, as well as all major cities in Cyprus, via the company's service stations, with chargers expected to be installed in 25 charging points within the next two years.

Electric vehicle registrations account for only 2.44% of total registrations in the first two months of 2023.

Of course, other oil companies are expected to announce similar initiatives in the near future. According to Hellenic Petroleum sources, there are plans to install chargers to meet the refueling needs of electric vehicles at a number of the company's service stations.

€3.7 million grant

Investments in electromobility services are also being boosted to some extent by the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Works' "Electrification by 1000" sponsorship scheme for the installation of 1000 electric vehicle recharging points. This project will be implemented in two phases and will cost a total of €3.7 million (€1.85 million per phase). The application period for phase 1 has been extended until 30 April, with phase 2 set to begin near the end of 2023. The project anticipates funding at 50% of the total cost, with a maximum amount of funding determined by the charger's maximum output power.  It is noted that charging points installed in mountainous areas will receive a sponsorship rate of up to 55%, with maximum funding limits remaining unchanged. Beneficiaries of the scheme are natural and legal persons (companies, associations, foundations), non-governmental organizations, legal persons under public law, and local authorities who own or lease 'parking space for public use' in areas controlled by the Republic of Cyprus. Public parking areas, municipal and communal parking areas, public-private parking areas, petrol stations, and recharging stations are all eligible sites.  Each beneficiary may receive a grant for four charging stations per province, up to a total of fifteen in Cyprus, with the exception of local governments, which may receive a grant for up to eight stations within their jurisdiction.

At a leisurely pace

Now, increasing the share of electromobility in the Cypriot market is proving to be a difficult bet. The presence of charging stations, both private and public, is expected to increase interest in the coming years, with the goal of electrifying 25% of new vehicle registrations by 2030. However, the transition of consumers from conventional to electric vehicles has been slow, owing to the lack of a satisfactory network of electric vehicle charging and maintenance facilities, in addition, to purchase costs. According to data from the statistical office, electric vehicle registrations accounted for only 2.44% of total registrations in the first two months of the year.  The total number of electric vehicle registrations is 145 (and hybrid registrations are 1,327), with a total of 5,923 vehicle registrations. The vast majority of the 145 electric registrations -127 of the 145- are new vehicles, while 18 are used. There are 119 cars for personal use, one taxi, and five rental cars. 19 of them are mopeds. Registrations of electric vehicles increased to some extent throughout 2022, owing to the electrification subsidy program, and totaled 739 (33,795 registrations in total), with 512 being for private passenger cars. Electric vehicle registrations for 2021 totaled 308 (34,716 total), while hybrid registrations totaled 4,556.

[This article was originally published in Kathimerini's printed edition of 'Oikonomiki' and translated from its Greek original]

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