Norway and California, leading the EV transition
Electric vehicles (EV) were discussed at the Welcome Tomorrow 2018 conference in Sao Paulo on Wednesday (Oct 31), with comments from industry experts Pascal Serres and Katherine Vigneau.
In terms of regions where the use of EVs are strongly encouraged, Serres highlighted the tax and service benefits in Norway where vehicle tax is very high.
“When buying an EV, both the registration tax (50% of car value) and VAT (25%) are waived. Moreover, the corporate tax on company cars are also eliminated,” said Serres who is a Global Fleet consultant.
In terms of service, EVs in Norway benefit from free parking and free tolls on roads. Moreover, besides the government acquiring many of these types of vehicles, the country boasts the most charging stations in all of Europe (7,700), both of which help to push the industry.
Most of the other European countries, however, are struggling with their budgets so they cannot replicate what is going on in Norway. “On the other hand, the cost of electric cars is expected to drop so this will make them more competitive in the future,” said Serres.
As for North America, California is usually seen as the example. However, according to Vigneau, there are a few other states that are more incentivized, monetarily speaking.
“Among them are Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, and Colorado,” said Vigneau who is the director for professional development of the NAFA fleet management association.
The secret in California is knowing that there are much more than the tax breaks. Those that are key in the state are the ability to use high density traffic lanes and the ability to charge your vehicles for free, according to Vigneau.
One of the things to make the transition to EV is giving consumers comfort, the executive added.
For public EV recharging infrastructure of level two or higher, about 22,000 are in the United States, said Vigneau, explaining that this is only one seventh of the traditional fuel stations in the country.
"Meanwhile, automakers are supporting the transition, starting with Tesla which has about 600 rechargers in the U.S (1,350 worldwide). Other OEMs are following suit,” Vigneau said.
Tesla recharging station (Source: Shutterstock)
As for ChargePoint which has 53,000 stations today, it intends to have 2.5mn by 2025. Currently, there is about 430,000 in the world.
For Serres, he sees the price of EVs as more of a hinderance than the lack of recharging infrastructure. Plug-in hybrids could be used instead of full-electric vehicles as around 95% of people in Europe charge their vehicles at home or work anyway.
“What drivers could do is use electric for shorter city travel but gasoline for longer trips (e.g. on the weekend),” Serres said, adding that plug-in hybrids could also be seen as being more environmentally friendly.
Full-electric vehicles have very large batteries which generate CO2 emissions during their production. Plug-in hybrids do not,” he said.
Photo: Pascal Serres, Katherine Vigneau, and moderator Cleber Kouyomdijian (Source: Global Fleet)