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Poland Offers Strong EV Incentives, Aims to Further Drive Adoption with Highway Toll Waivers and Used Car Subsidies

AUTOMOTIVEPoland Offers Strong EV Incentives, Aims to Further Drive Adoption with Highway Toll Waivers and Used Car Subsidies

“The incentives in Poland for purchasing and using electric cars are quite good compared to other EU countries,” assesses Łukasz Lewandowski, President of the Board of the EV Club Poland Foundation. These incentives include subsidies towards the purchase of a new electric car, free parking in cities and the use of bus lanes. Additional incentives, such as allowing free passages on highways and also offering subsidies for used electric cars, could further encourage drivers to switch to emission-free vehicles. Last year – according to IBRM Samar data – imports of passenger cars to Poland exceeded 736,000 units, of which only 0.5% were electric cars.

Fully electric car drivers in Poland can avail of numerous benefits including free parking in paid areas in cities across the country, use of bus lanes and financial incentives such as subsidies towards the cost of electric cars, ranging from PLN 18,750 to PLN 27,000, depending upon whether the purchaser is an entrepreneur, an individual, or a holder of the Large Family Card etc. Other incentives for companies, also somewhat financial, include higher depreciation deductions compared to combustion cars, and exemption from excise duty.

According to data from the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management, by the end of February, nearly 19.5 thousand applications were submitted for funding under the ‘My Electric Car’ programme, totaling over PLN 717 million. There is still around PLN 230 million left in the programme’s budget.

As per the Electromobility Counter launched by the Polish Association of the Automotive Industry (PZPM) and the Polish Alternative Fuels Association (PSPA), by the end of December 2023, there were a total of 57,065 passenger and commercial vehicles powered exclusively by electricity in Poland. In 2023 alone, 23,651 such cars were registered, indicating a 52% increase compared to 2022.

According to Automotive News Europe, Germany is currently the leader in electromobility in Europe, with more than 520,000 electric cars sold in 2023 alone. No other European country can boast such a result. However, the forecast for 2024 isn’t as optimistic for the market beyond the Oder. Specialists expect a several-percent correction.

“In Poland, incentives for electric car users are quite good compared to the rest of EU countries, although we lack two things that we, as EV Club Poland Foundation, pay particular attention to. The first is related to the ‘Highway to Electromobility’ campaign, which is the exemption from highway tolls,” mentions the President of the Foundation. His second suggestion is to provide subsidies not only for new electric cars, but also for used ones. He points out that Poland imports nearly a million used cars every year, mostly combustion ones. This practice could be replaced with a growing import of electric cars.

IBRM Samar reports that in 2023, we imported over 805,000 passenger and delivery cars from abroad. Electric cars accounted for just 0.5% and 0.3% of these imports respectively.

The ‘Highway to Electromobility’ campaign had its third edition last year. It’s a joint initiative by the EV Club Poland Foundation, Autopay, Shell Recharge and GreenWay Poland. Under this initiative, drivers could avoid paying tolls for five journeys on selected sections of highways. The action was joined by over a thousand electric vehicle users.

“Participants could travel for free on A1, A2 and A4 highways during the holiday period. Later, the government exempted passages on A1 and A2 highways from charges, so our action was extended to the end of the year on the A4 highway. As a result, electric car drivers drove over 112,000 km within the scope of this action,” says Łukasz Lewandowski.

The organizers emphasize that the purpose of the ‘Highway to Electromobility’ campaign was to provide an additional incentive for users of electric cars while also demonstrating that electric vehicles are a practical solution not only for city driving, but also for long-distance travel. The idea of toll-free highways isn’t new in Europe. For many years in Norway, for instance, drivers of electric vehicles could use toll sections of roads for free or at a 50% discount. Moreover, until the end of 2023, a discount of up to 75% was available for electric vehicles driving on the M50 highway in Ireland.

According to EV Club Poland statistics, the most registrants in this year’s ‘Highway to Electromobility’ rode a Tesla Model 3. In second place was the Tesla Y, and closing the podium was the Tesla S. Other popular choices included the Kia EV6, Audi e-tron, Kia e-Niro, Nissan Leaf, Hyundai IONIQ Electric, VW ID.4 1st, and the Hyundai Kona Electric.

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