The issue of electric cars and charging infrastructure is a hot topic in Europe, Asia and North America. Electric cars can’t be used successfully on a mass market scale unless the charging infrastructure is in place, but Russia thinks they have the solution: force all gas stations to install car chargers.
According to The Moscow Times, all gas stations in Russia have been ordered by the government to install at least one electric car charger by November 2016. It’s an odd move, seeing as there are less than 500 electric cars in all of Russia and just 50 of them have been sold in the country so far in 2015, but the idea, the Russian government says, is to promote the use of electric cars through the initiative.
One of the main reasons electric cars aren’t popular in Russia is the price. EVs are usually much more expensive than an equivalent gasoline or diesel powered car and only become very useful in dense urban areas where there is charging infrastructure. Russia is also cold, and most EVs will usually suffer a loss of range or other performance drop-offs in colder temperatures.
The law requiring gas stations to install an electric vehicle charger does not specify which type of charger it must be, meaning many stations may go out and buy the cheapest charging unit on the market. The least expensive charging station in Russia is $1,480 and can take up to nine hours to charge a car battery from flat to full, making it virtually unusable at a gas station.
It’s good too see Russia has its eye on alternative energy sources and wants to promote electric vehicle use, but we don’t think this is the proper way to go about doing it. We aren’t alone, with Autostat analyst Andrei Toptun saying developing charging infrastructure is currently pointless in the country.
“The issue of electric cars is irrelevant in Russia. We have a huge territory and fewer cars than many other countries, so there is simply no need to develop the idea of electric cars on a nationwide scale,” he said.
The Moscow Times via Gas2