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Pushing Electric Cars, Greece Will Add More Charging Stations Eventually

ATHENS – Stalled because there haven’t been enough charging stations, Greece’s drive to get people to switch to electric cars faster will get a boost with more places for them to plug in coming – 3 to 8 years away.

At the end of 2021, there were just 1,248 fully electric cars and 2,964 plug-in hybrids, still better than 190 and 289 on roads at the end of 2019 before the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in February, 2020, noted Kathimerini.

Offering big subsidies to help cut the high purchase cost of electric or hybrid cars that have a gasoline option as a backup, the New Democracy government wants more drivers getting away from internal combustion engines.

The plan is to increase increase the number of charging outlets from 1,200 this year to 12,000 by 2025 and 25,000 in 2030, the paper said, adding that a list of the current stations – that are few and far between – will be available on an app beginning the end of April.

That will display real-time availability and is being funded by the European Union in a bid to speed the end of gasoline and diesel-driven vehicles that pollute.

But while Greece is offering subsidies for drivers to buy electric cars – they are only 0,3 percent of the market  – there haven’t been charging stations to get them revved up.

That’s because of the notorious Greek bureaucracy which can’t keep up with government promises earlier that there would be 10,0o00 stations by 2026 – there are only about 300 now, the paper had said.

The network of public chargers hasn’t developed, the report said, creating a gap between wanting more electric cars on the road and the inability to get them charged fast, which can take up to two hours now in some cases.

WATT’S UP?

That in turn, said the paper, has created so-called “Range Anxiety,” in which drivers fret about whether they’ll have enough juice in their cars to even make to the next charging station, if they can find one.

The problem is that the government isn’t producing licenses fast enough to install more stations, although the public electric utility PPE has put those available now in use, although in only a limited number of areas.

That creates a disincentive to go anywhere outside a main urban area or across the country as there just aren’t enough stations for electric cars to make it from one point to another.

“At times the approval of licenses may take between six to eight months,”  Ilias Petris, Strategy and Corporate Development Director at NRG, the company through which listed refinery group Motor Oil has entered the electrical mobility market told the paper.

That was confirmed by Spyros Kiartzis, CEO of ElpeFuture (a Hellenic Petroleum subsidiary), which is developing an extensive network of charging stations and other services to help.

The oil companies are leading development of the charging network by using their network of fuel stations across the country, the report added, as Kiartiz said ElpeFuture installed 35 rapid chargers and wants 1o0 by the end of 2022.

Petris also said that NRG has installed 33 rapid chargers and 71 slower ones, and will soon add another seven rapid chargers and 15 regular points, covering 91 cities across the country

Public Power Corporation (PPC,) through DEI Blue, has installed 15 rapid chargers at key points such as the Athens airport and the Thessaloniki International Fair center but drivers worry about having enough power to reach them if they’re low.

PPC and private companies said 1,000 charging stations would be installed by the end of 2024.

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