Do electric cars and hybrids have a future in Romania? Philip Aarsman, Managing Director of Business Lease Romania, thinks so. His company already encourages the electric mobility development.
Is there a future for electric mobility in Romania? How about electric mobility in operational leasing?
The future in mobility all over the world will be a sustainable and environmentally friendly one; Romania, as EU member, relates to trends and legislation. Therefore, electric mobility has a future in Romania sooner than we imagine. Let’s consider the sales for the first half of year for hybrid and electric cars: 1.237 units, almost triple compared to the similar period of 2016. Moreover, APIA statistics show the split in eco cars – 180% more electric cars purchased, 215% more hybrids cars bought. The changes in eco cars demands are obvious.
Operational leasing is following this path, as many clients of Business Lease were pioneers in this field – since there was no governmental add in eco cars –, and embraced electric mobility sooner. We were financing these types of cars for our clients, even before the emerging of Rabla Plus program.
Back then, and definitely now, when you have a 10,000-euro eco ticket for electric cars subsidy and 4,500-euro eco ticket for hybrid cars, the slightly higher purchase price should not be an obstacle, but an information to complete the puzzle of the Total Cost of Mobility.
For example, operating costs of electric machinery are indeed much lower, up to 60% lower than vehicles with an Internal Combustion Engine (ICE). An electric engine only has 18 moving components compared to a conventional car, which has more than 2,000 moving parts.
In your opinion, how exactly is Rabla Plus program sustaining eco cars use in Romania?
I encourage any attempt to stimulate the development of electric mobility. This program offers buyers a contribution. The Government’s desire to have as many different users who try the electric car experience, and to prevent the concentration of electrical machinery in the car park of a single company, is understood. However, the Government did not consider that all operational leasing companies buy these cars, and so do the owners of the vehicle, and these vehicles will be used by their customers. Therefore, by limiting this maximum contribution to 200,000 euros, an operational leasing company may acquire a maximum of 20 electric machines. In this case, it would be better to benefit from the large portfolio of different clients that an operational leasing company owns, and to create a maximum limit based on a particular client.
As we strongly believe in the future of electric mobility, this year Business Lease Romania already enter in the Rabla Plus program.
The Environmental Fund Administration has accepted our request for a grant – the Ecotichet – to purchase new purely electric vehicles or new hybrid vehicles with external power supply, which generate less than 50 g/km CO2 emissions. We received 10 eco tickets to buy pure electric cars and 20 eco tickets to buy new hybrid cars for our clients.
What type of industries and vehicle should embrace sooner electric mobility?
In operational leasing, the interest of companies for eco vehicles is increasingly higher throughout Central and Eastern Europe, as we can also see inside Business Lease Group. Hungary auto market follows the trend and future growth is expected, as a consequence of the support system recently introduced by the Government, who will handle up to 21% of the list price of an electric or hybrid vehicle. The Czech Republic, as well as Romania, marks a growth in purchasing electric cars, but at a lower rate, due to a still poor charging infrastructure. Business Lease Slovakia follows this trend, with the top 3 most purchased brands of electric vehicles: Nissan Leaf, KIA, and Volkswagen.
In all countries where Business Lease is present, companies responsive to electric or hybrid cars are innovative ones, from industries such as IT&C, Sales, Logistic, Courier, Energy (Electricity & Gas), Telecom and Automotive. Most of them are multinational companies with large car parks, but there are a few having smaller fleets.
Is the electric cars trend also a choice for fleets?
Vehicles having multiple stops and departures during the day, running on average less than 100 km per day – for example, LCV’s, cars used by courier services, as well as passenger vehicles – are ideal to be replaced with an electric car.
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