November 16th, 2016 by James Ayre
Slovakia has launched its first electric vehicle subsidy/incentives program — with all-electric (EV) and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) vehicle buyers now being able to receive subsidies of €5000 and €3000, respectively.
The new electric vehicle subsidy program has been funded with €5,000,000 and applies to nearly all newly purchased EVs and PHEVs being registered in Slovakia. The new program was announced by the Slovak Ministry of Economy and the Automotive Industry Association of the Slovak Republic (ZAP), and was passed on to CleanTechnica by our friends at GreenWay and Voltia. (See our articles on GreenWay’s EV fast-charging network and Voltia’s modified electric van.)
Importantly, the new EV and PHEV subsidies only apply to vehicles purchased within Slovakia — so Tesla vehicles aren’t currently eligible — as of yet, there aren’t any Tesla stores there.
There are some other important things to note: in addition to cars, light-commercial vehicles/vans up to 3.5 tonnes qualify; the subsidy program is first come, first serve; both EVs and PHEVs are pulling from the same subsidy pool; the application process occurs when and where the vehicles are purchased; there are no vehicle price restrictions.
Also, as of right now there are no plans to extend the program at a later date — once the €5 million is gone, it may well be gone for good.
Something else important to note is the way that the subsidy is paid out:
“To ensure that the supported vehicle stays registered in Slovakia the subsidy amount will be divided into three parts. The first one will be granted at the point of vehicle registration (€2,000 for BEV, €1,000 for PHEV). The owner could apply for the second installment after one year (€1,500 for BEV, €1,000 for PHEV) and last one after the second year (€1,500 for BEV, €1000 for PHEV).”
The CEO of the EV charging station firm GreenWay, Rastislav Lauko, commented on the news: “In a country with only about 350 BEV in operation, the subsidy for one thousand new vehicles could kick-start the development of the electromobility market. However, by not limiting the number of PHEVs which could be eligible, the program could potentially give too much support to less environmentally friendly PHEVs. Because any PHEV or EV vehicle, regardless of how expensive, is eligible for the subsidy, not enough support might go to the small and midsize segment, where it would have the greatest positive impact.”
Also: “Should this subsidy scheme translate into increasing the number of electric vehicles on our routes we are committed to expanding our network and further strengthening our position as the most advanced charging service provider in Central and Eastern Europe.”
With regard to the lack of eligibility for Tesla vehicles, I wonder if Tesla, hearing about the new subsidy and its stipulations, would be inclined to open a store in the country. There is a Supercharger there, after all.