by Chryssa Liaggou
The Environment and Energy Ministry is launching a program to bring more electric vehicles onto Greek roads and expand the network of public chargers. Its aim is to make transport less dependent on fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, especially in cities.
The Green Transport program provides specifically for the replacement of 2,000 old taxis with 2,000 new battery electric vehicles (BEV) around the country; the replacement of 220 old buses (including 175 in Athens and 63 in Thessaloniki) with electric ones; and the installation of 8,656 public access chargers by end-2025. These will be at strategic locations within and around cities, and at points of heavy use, such as airports, highways, ports and large private parking facilities like garages.
The program has a total budget of 356 million euros, of which €220 million (or €272.8 million including value-added tax) will be covered by the Recovery and Resilience Plan.
The reason for the focus on replacing taxis and buses is that their replacement will result in a greater benefit in comparison with the replacement of conventional private cars. A recent study has shown that replacing a taxi with an electric vehicle can fetch a benefit up to three times as high as the replacement of a private car, as it will save 85 tons of carbon dioxide in its life span against 30 tons in the case of a private car.
Eligible for entering the replacement program are taxis 18 years or older in Athens and 21 years or older in Thessaloniki, and those dating from 1997 in the rest of the country, and about to be withdrawn anyway by December 31. That will mean 6% of the existing taxi fleet will be replaced with BEVs, with the subsidy having as a necessary condition the scrapping of the old vehicle.
The Charge Everywhere initiative, meanwhile, will be in the form of a subsidy system, covering part of the initial installation and connection costs of chargers. It will also subsidize the installation of renewable energy source systems and energy storage facilities to be connected to the charging infrastructure.
This article was previously published at ekathimerini.com.