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Society

Put the Plug: Too Few Charging Stations for Electric Cars in Greece

ATHENS – At the same time Greece is offering subsidies for drivers to buy electric cars – they are only 0,3 percent of the market  – there aren’t enough charging stations to get them revved up.

That’s because of the notorious Greek bureaucracy which can’t keep up with government promises that there will be 10,0o00 stations by 2026 – there are only about 300 now – said Kathimerini in a feature.

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.

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.

WATT’S UP?

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 has installed 35 rapid chargers and wants 1o0 by the end of 2022.

Petris 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.

Another problem is the charging time. While you can get gasoline in a minute or two in an international combustion engine vehicle, recharging an electric car takes a half hour at a rapid charger or two hours for slower stations.

The New Democracy government said the goal is for 33 percent of the cars to be electric in eight years, by 2030, which would be a 10,000 percent increase from how many are on the roads now.

There is a 100 million euro ($114.19 million) subsidy program over the next 18 months as an incentive to buy electric or hybrid cars as part of the plan to also reduce carbon emissions.

Electric cars and light commercial vehicles will be subsidized with 15 percent of the purchase price and taxis at 25 percent, which could make electric cars cost up to 10,000 euros ($11,419) cheaper.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis earlier said that the plan also stipulates that “every new building should have the infrastructure to charge electric vehicles,” no details of how that could happen yet.

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