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Cyprus among most expensive to plug in your EV

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Cyprus is one of the most expensive countries out of a list of 39 in Europe to charge an electric vehicle, adding another con to the list of Cypriot motorists thinking of going electric in the near future.

Cyprus’ path to a fully electrified transport system still faces obstacles, as it has to overcome the high cost of EVs, the limited number of charging points, and now, the high cost of charging.

According to a survey carried out by Switcher.ie, an Ireland-based independent price comparison and switching service for energy, telecoms and personal finances, Cyprus is the eighth most expensive place to charge an EV in Europe.

Electric cars also usually cost thousands of euros more than their petrol or diesel counterparts, to start with, with buyers looking to make a quick write-off as EVs are over 70% cheaper to run than petrol or diesel vehicles.

However, there are still energy costs to budget in, and the cost of charging an EV in Cyprus is seven times more than the cheapest country.

At €15.81 per charge, or 4.64 per 100 km, Cyprus is the eighth most expensive country to charge an electric car.

The cheapest country in Europe to run an electric vehicle is the Netherlands thanks to a generous energy allowances scheme rolled out by the government.

It was the cheapest country to charge an EV costing an average of €2.74 per charge, or €0.80 per 100 km. Its electric car market has grown strongly in the last five years, and plug-in car sales hit 51% share by the end of 2022.

Southeastern European countries also tend to have lower sales and a smaller EV market share due to the prohibitive costs of many electric and hybrids.

Kosovo is second on the list with a cost of €3.71 per charge or €1.09 per 100 km, followed by Georgia with €4.53 per charge and €1.33 per 100 km.

At the other end of the spectrum, Denmark is the most expensive country in Europe to charge an EV. There are over 200,000 electric and plug-in hybrid cars on Danish roads, and Forbes has ranked it as the third most EV-friendly country in the world. Previous tax exemptions are being tapered as EV take-up increases.

Tax benefits

Belgium is in second place, with a steep increase in electric and hybrid sales during 2022, cornering over 40% of the new car market. There are regional tax benefits and subsidies for EV drivers and grants for home charging point installation.

According to the Switcher survey, “the most expensive countries to charge EVs tend to have a higher EV market share of new car sales and more electric and hybrid vehicles on the road, with the exception of Cyprus and Czechia”.

Authorities in Cyprus have been trying to boost the number of electric cars on the island’s roads with a generous incentive scheme, offering up to €10,000 to motorists to trade in their old banger for an electric car.

The incentive scheme, which is in its second phase, has a total budget of €30 mln.

Authorities are also trying to boost the low number of charging points on the island’s roads, as Cyprus is in the bottom five on the list of EU countries with the least charging points; owners of electric vehicles have only 69 locations to plug into while navigating the island’s roads.

According to the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), a 2022 survey found only 69 charging points across the island, with electric vehicles making up 5.4% of all vehicles on the roads.

The island is fourth from the bottom for charging points compared to its population, above Malta, which has only 13 charging points, Latvia with 660, and Lithuania with 477.

Estonia is last with 300 charging points.

The Netherlands, not surprisingly, had the most electric vehicle charging points at the other end of the spectrum, with 111,821.

Scheme extended

Meanwhile, the Cyprus’ Transport Ministry in January extended the first phase of a €3.7 mln scheme for 1,000 electric vehicle charging stations across the country until the end of April.

The scheme is implemented in two phases, with grants for 500 charging stations handed out each round.

The first phase has a budget of €1.8 mln.

The second phase will be announced near the end of 2023, for the remaining €2 mln.

It is part of the national recovery and resilience plan titled ‘rapid transition to a green economy – sustainable transport.’

Beneficiaries of the scheme include companies, associations, foundations, NGOs, local authorities and individuals who would like to run a charging station.

The scheme aims to have 1,000 stations up and running by 2026.

Green Party leader and MP Charalampos Theopemptou told the Financial Mirror the government has neglected to build the necessary infrastructure, leaving everything to the last minute.

“The government is now rushing to promote electric vehicles and bring in charging points with incentive schemes as Cyprus will need to move quickly to disengage from its dependency on fossil fuels as changes promoted by the EU will push prices up even further,” said Theopemptou.

The Greens’ leader believes the incentive scheme for electric chargers to be unnecessary, as laws already in effect foresee that any new buildings, given the go-ahead after March 2021, must have the infrastructure for installing charging points in tenant parking spots.

“Furthermore, as of January 1, 2025, any business with a parking lot for more than 20 cars will be obliged by law to have a public charging point,” Theopemptou added.