Noiseless and emission-free road transport is no longer a wonder on Ukrainian highways. Charging infrastructure does not keep up with the speed at which Ukrainians purchase their personal electric cars.
Growth rates are even accelerating: as of July 1, over 26,000 electric vehicles (EV) and hybrids (HEV) have been registered in Ukraine. Twice as many EVs and HEVs were registered in May this year in comparison with May 2018.
Experts estimate that in 2024 the number of light vehicles and light-duty trucks with electric motors will grow to 246,000 or nearly ten times as much.
However, an increasing number of EVs alone will not bring Ukraine closer to Norway. The development of any industry or economic sector should be accompanied by the development of infrastructure required for this purpose. In the case of electric transport, it is an extensive network of charging stations that would ensure comfortable travel by EVs both in the city and in the country.
However, the presence of a charging station is not always helpful: there are numerous cases when places with chargers for EVs are occupied by a usual car. This, in turn, limits the access of EVs to the charging station and may limit the further movement of an electric car if the battery charge is insufficient.
EV parking facilities are important for the sustainable development of the market, according to 75% of experts of the Ukrainian market of electric transport, conducted by the IRS Group in May 2019.
Possible solutions that would add more benefits and convenience to EV drivers and also contribute to the development of the EV industry in Ukraine include regulation of parking facilities and charging of EVs, special road signs and identification of EVs.
Actually, special marking of EVs is widespread in many countries of the world. You may see “green” license plates in Austria, the UK, India, China, Latvia, Germany, Hungary, and Ontario in Canada.
The first step to comply Ukrainian legislation with the best European and world practices in the field of electric transport, as well as to promote the development of this sector in Ukraine, has already been taken. Bill №10405 “On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of Ukraine on Creating Access to Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles Charging Stations” was voted through the Verkhovna Rada literally in the last hours of convocation, on July 11, and signed on August 6 by the President of Ukraine.
The law objectives:
■ To protect the rights of electric vehicle drivers to access charging stations and parking lots
■ To bring road safety closer to European standards
■ To increase the capacity of existing electric vehicle charging stations
■ To facilitate the development of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles
Experts of the United Nations Development Program provided support to the development of the bill under the ”Support to the Parliament of Ukraine on Sustainable Energy and Environmental Protection”. The bill was co-authored by Oleksiy Ryabchyn, co-chair of the Green Energy of Change IFI, a number of MPs from various factions, as well as independent MPs.
The law will come into force on January 1, 2020. So, what changes to expect from the new year?
New road signs — “For Electric Vehicles”, “Except Electric Vehicles” and “Electric Vehicle Charging Station” will appear.
First of all, these signs will regulate the work of an increasing number of charging stations.
2. Green license plates
Electric vehicles will be provided with special license plates — with green characters. The practice of marking license plates with characters of a different color is not new in Ukraine. For example, police cars have blue license plates, public transport buses — yellow, transit vehicles — red plates.
Marking of electric vehicles will also help rescuers at the scene of a road traffic accident. Because firefighters need special instructions for fighting a fire in an electric vehicle.
To implement the law over the next six months, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other relevant ministries will need to introduce changes to:
■ State Standards that provide for special license plates with green characters for electric vehicles (ДСТУ 4278: 2006)
■ State Standards that provide for introducing new road signs “For Electric Vehicles”, “Except Electric Vehicles” and “Electric Vehicle Charging Station” (ДСТУ 4100:2014)
■ State building codes for determining mandatory parameters and detailed requirements for the construction of parking facilities and/or parking lots for electric vehicles.
For owners of ICE vehicles who decide to park in the spot for electric cars or near a specially equipped charging station the law provides for a fine of 340–510 hryvnia. In this case, the parking inspectors have the right to detain the violator’s vehicle, in particular with the help of a tow truck.
Greening of the motor transport industry in Ukraine does not end there. Of great importance is the electric power source, which charges an electric vehicle. A balanced system that produces clean low carbon energy and safely supplies it to users is one of the key priorities of the green agenda for Ukraine.
Achieving this goal should be a valid argument for statesmen and officials in shaping a policy for a cleaner environment and sustainable energy for everyone.
Text: Viktoriya Yashkina / UNDP in Ukraine