This guest blog post was submitted by Plug In America supporter Robyn Camp. If you would like to submit a guest blog post for possible inclusion in a future newsletter, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Guest Blog Post.”
On a recent work assignment in Ukraine, an EV caught my eye – what were those California HOV access decals doing on a car on the streets of Kyiv?
As I looked around, I noticed a number of EVs – including Uber-branded Nissan Leafs around town, that I could sometimes order as an “Green” option instead of ordering a standard UberX, and other taxi operators with Leafs in their fleet.
Curious, I investigated and learned that Ukraine’s EV market is small but has been growing quickly – on average 58% year over year. There are an estimated 15,500 vehicles in operation today of which 91% are used vehicles, mostly imported from the US.
Top seller is the Nissan Leaf—which was consistent with what I saw from the streets of Kyiv–but there are certainly a mix of other EVs. About 25% of these are four years or older, at least in part because many of the existing charging stations are too slow and too weak to reliably charge the higher-capacity batteries of newer EVs within a practical timeframe1. I didn’t see a charging station at all in my time there, nor did my apps (PlugShare, Chargepoint, EVgo, or even Google maps) tell me where I might find one, but I suspect I’d have better luck if I searched for a resource in Ukrainian.
The parliament has recently passed some incentives such as making EV imports customs- and tax-free (which is significant as these fees are typically 20% on non-EV imports), discounted auto insurance rates, EV-only parking and priority lane access. However, legislation that would simplify the process to install a charging station or clarify eligibility and definitions for EVs has not yet passed. Still, the market is growing in size and range – I saw a handful of Teslas, as well as some Renault Kangoos making deliveries.
In many ways, EVs are a “no-brainer” for Ukraine. The country has excess electric generating capacity, fuel prices are high and getting higher all the time. EVs are a great option for Ukraine for practical, environmental and energy security reasons.