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Boom in import of electric and hybrid vehicles in Bulgaria

Shared electric cars are the future, users say

Photo: pixabay

They are quiet, comfortable, environmentally friendly and efficient. It is not clear whether the motives of Bulgarians to acquire electric vehicles stem from a desire to protect the environment or are rather financial. But one thing is certain – interest in greener mobility has been growing. One out of every 100 cars in Bulgaria is fully electric or hybrid. Interest is so great that experts have started talking about a real boom in demand. According to data of the Ministry of the Interior, purchases of electric cars have jumped 82 percent for a year and now there are 4,614 fully electric cars on Bulgaria's roads, as well as 25,000 hybrid vehicles, as imports have increased by 58%. At the moment, if a person wants to acquire an electric vehicle, they will have to wait until the New Year, as the warehouses are empty, Industrial Cluster "Electric Vehicles" reports.

The conditions for using EVs in Bulgaria have been constantly improving. There are about 650 charging stations in this country and their number is constantly growing. In addition, one can charge an electric car in their garage and for less than 2 euros they can travel up to 100 kilometers. Shared electric cars are also becoming more and more popular. Kalin Tsviatkov, a student in Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski", and his friends regularly commute in Sofia using a rented electric car. Unlocking is done through a special smartphone application. According to Kalin, driving around the city this way is very comfortable and one can quickly get to any point and also park in the center of the city for free.

It's cheaper than taking a taxi and it's faster. You know your way around and you don't have to explain the address to a driver. But you still have to be careful because if you hit the car it would be a problem. You should also check that everything is in place; that the charging cable is available and functional, etc. This is a responsibility of the user. In Sofia, it is very easy to move like this. But there are certain rules and in some neighborhoods you can't park for free except at a charging station. The idea is that when a person goes home, they leave the vehicle to charge for the next user."

Europe is getting ready to part ways with the internal combustion engine for good. It is expected that this will happen near 2030 and for this purpose serious funds are already being allocated for direct financial incentives to citizens. In Bulgaria, when buying a new electric car, the owners do not benefit from a VAT discount, but they are exempt from a local tax.

However, electric vehicles are still about 50% more expensive than conventional ones. But in the backdrop of their constantly falling prices and the sharp rise in the price of internal combustion cars, EVs are no longer perceived as a luxury.

According to Kalin Tsviatkov, however, shared electric vehicles are the future. "I don't have a personal car as it involves a lot of costs - you have to change parts, pay for fuel, allocate funds for insurance, vignettes, etc. It's better for me to rent an electric car," Kalin says, adding:

"I think people should stop using private cars and choose electric cars that are shared, using them only when they need them. During the rest of the time, one can use other means of transport like trains and public transport in general. I think this is the most environmentally-friendly solution. Our main goal this decade is to reduce our carbon footprint and that is what we need to do,” Kalin Tsviatkov says in conclusion.

English version: Al. Markov

Photos: pixabay, rawpixel
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