Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: May 7, 2024
PIRE: “Poland remains an attractive market for CPOs”
By Lucía Colaluce

PIRE: “Poland remains an attractive market for CPOs”

According to PIRE, it's necessary to install more chargers along the roads. However, thanks to a grant program on the horizon, the charging infrastructure sector has a bright future in Poland. What are the incentives?
Krzysztof Burda, President of Poland's Electromobility association 'PIRE'
Krzysztof Burda, President of PIRE.

In a dialogue with Mobility Portal Europe, Krzysztof Burda, President of the Polish Chamber of Electromobility Development (PIRE), comments on the current state of the charging infrastructure sector in Poland.

“Poland remains an attractive market for new Charge Point Operators (CPOs),” Burda asserts. 

“We are in a good position as the number of stations increases every month,” he adds.

The truth is that, with the rise in the number of electric vehicles (EVs), there has also been an increase in charging points. 

By the end of March this year, 277 public devices were deployed in the country, totaling 6,490 charging points across 3,583 stations

Of these, 28 per cent were direct current (DC) fast devices, while the remaining 72 per cent were alternate current (AC) slow devices, with a power rating of 22 kilowatts or less.

Regarding this subject, PIRE president’s states: “While it’s not a large number at the moment, considering the potential with subsidy programs and comparing some costs, many charging points could be implemented.”

Currently, the Polish government plans to launch subsidies for zero-emission heavy vehicles and their respective chargers, providing companies with a total of two billion Polish zlotys. 

These projects will cover construction works, grid connection, and other related activities. 

The program is currently in the process of securing funding and is expected to be available in the market by the end of this year.

It is noteworthy that the program would target CPOs in Poland, especially those involved with the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR).

However, there is still a need to focus on installing chargers on highways.

Burda maintains: “We have some charging points, but mostly they are standalone, one charger with two or three points, and it’s not the final target of AFIR.” 

“Our goals are entirely different, and we need to build more challenging points related to regulation”, he adds.

What challenges does electromobility face in Poland?

The country faces two major challenges for electromobility, the first of which is grid connection.

While well-developed urban areas have robust electrical infrastructures enabling efficient charging, vulnerable regions require substantial investment to improve connectivity. 

This disparity poses a challenge as optimal electrical connection locations are limited and may be depleted in the near future.

Secondly, there is the need for a mindset shift, especially among drivers and sector firms. 

In a context where Europe is implementing new regulations for industry and transport decarbonization, it is crucial for companies to adapt to these changes. 

In countries like Poland, where a significant portion of energy still comes from coal, companies are at a crossroads. 

Nowadays, many corporations face the challenge of meeting environmental sustainability standards, which involves reducing carbon emissions in their operations.

This includes everything from choosing renewable energy sources to transitioning to fleets of electric cars.

“To meet the objectives, it is necessary to adopt proactive thinking and seek solutions that allow the use of green energy in their operations”, asserts Krzysztof Burda.

Poland is betting on eTrucks

According to PIRE, truck manufacturers are poised to meet the objectives set by the AFIR.

This is because they have already introduced a wide range of electric models designed for various needs, such as overnight deliveries or transporting cargo of different sizes.

In particular, electric heavy-duty vehicles (HDEV) intended for long distances have also been developed and are ready for implementation.

It’s worth mentioning that Poland stands out as an influential transport market on the continent, ranking fourth in freight transport.

This position confirms the nation’s relevance in the field of transportation and logistics at a continental level.

“Maintaining this privileged position is crucial for the economy and the country’s development in this area,” notes the president of PIRE.

What projects is PIRE working on?

At present, the organization is immersed in various plans in the region, but one key initiative stands out: the “Technology Incubator,” also known as the “Innovation Hub in Electromobility.”

The Technology Incubator is geared towards emerging startups in the electric mobility and energy sector.

PIRE believes that innovative technological solutions, such as those related to batteries and software, are essential for achieving climate goals.

Therefore, the focus of the Incubator is to provide assistance from market entry to facilitating investments and expanding the customer base.

On the other hand, the second relevant project is the Project Zero, which focuses on transitioning to zero-emission mobility in the Polish logistics sector.

This scheme is aimed at transportation corporations, service requesters, and charging point operators, among other stakeholders in the electromobility market, especially in the HDEV sector.

Similarly, new applications of sustainable mobility, such as maritime solutions for decarbonizing ports and vessels, are being explored.

Through this program, the aim is to adopt best practices in all these areas and share them with the market to facilitate decarbonization.

Finally, Burda expresses: “It is essential for Europe to adapt quickly because if brands and consequently, countries, fall asleep, the market would simply change rapidly, and people will choose Chinese cars.

“This has already happened with European-origin companies that are now owned by Chinese groups, such as Volvo and MG“, states the executive.

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