EVs spotted on the streets of Ukraine


EVs spotted on the streets of Ukraine

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 info@pluginamerica.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.


1 https://www.kyivpost.com/business/ukraine-showing-electric-growth-in-this-car-market.html


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