Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: June 7, 2024
Poland at risk of missing AFIR targets: calls for reforms and greater Government action
By Lucía Colaluce

Poland at risk of missing AFIR targets: calls for reforms and greater Government action

With around 6,000 public charging stations located 150 kilometres apart or even more, Poland seems far from meeting the ambitious goals set by the European Union. What does PIRE think about this?
Trip from Poland to Spain and. France

In a context where electric mobility is gaining ground, Grzegorz Cor, Program Manager and Ambassador of the Polish Chamber of Electromobility Development (PIRE), shared his experience travelling through France and Spain in a Tesla on his LinkedIn profile.

During his journey of approximately a thousand kilometres, Cor noted the stark differences between these countries and his home nation of Poland, particularly in terms of the availability of charging infrastructure at shorter distances.

Grzegorz Cor, Program Manager and Ambassador of PIRE.

In a conversation with Mobility Portal Europe, Cor explains the reason for this disparity.

“The previous government over the last eight years was not doing enough. Maybe this new administration will, but it is still in formation,” he states.

Witnessing such a gap with other parts of Europe, the Program Manager concludes: “I can say that Poland could not meet the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR) under these conditions. I don’t think we can match the efforts, the funding, and the current situation.”

It is worth mentioning that AFIR came into effect on 13 April, aiming to support the transition to more sustainable transport by setting mandatory targets for the deployment of transport infrastructure.

However, the targets set are too ambitious for countries like the Central European nation, where charging stations lack the necessary conditions to accelerate the pace of electric mobility.

It’s relevant to note that the path towards electromobility in Poland only began in 2020.

Cor points to France, Spain, Germany, Bulgaria, and Romania as examples where authorities began investing in the installation of chargers much earlier, allowing them to have hubs every 20 or 30 kilometres today.

“In Poland, maybe on two or three main highways, which stretch for 400-500 kilometres, you have the opportunity to charge your car every 150 or 200 kilometres, and that is definitely not enough,” he states.

Photo provided by Grzegorz Cor in his LinkedIn profile.

He then explains: “Why isn’t it enough? Because every month there are over 5,000 new electric car registrations for every 20 new stations.

Grzegorz Cor even highlights Romania, a region not necessarily seen as a leader in eMobility, which has around 60,000 charging points, ten times more than Poland, which only has about 6,000.

The most striking aspect of this situation is that money is not the issue.

In fact, the Polish administration plans to introduce subsidies for zero-emission heavy vehicles and their respective chargers, providing companies with a total of two billion Polish zlotys.

In this case, how should officials and sector leaders act?

For Cor, the solution is straightforward: “We should do it normally and routinely. We have charging station manufacturers, operators, and electric car registrations, so all that is missing is a fast and efficient development of the infrastructure.

He also suggests that funding should be encouraged for both the private and public sectors and that Poland should emulate Scandinavian countries to achieve a faster transition.

Reflecting on Grzegorz Cor’s expedition, it is important to highlight that one of the factors that facilitated the journey was the chosen vehicle model.

“Travelling with a Tesla is much easier than with other electric cars. In fact, Tesla’s Superchargers started well from the beginning: before launching the car, they developed the infrastructure to form a network.”

Companies investing in Polish infrastructure

Cor mentions that currently five companies are actively investing in the electrification of Poland.

Firstly, he mentioned BP Pulse, a firm that announced an ambitious plan to install 600 new rapid charging stations by 2030

This strategic expansion will begin at the end of 2025 with the opening of 150 installations in collaboration with Auchan.

This initiative is part of BP’s global commitment to develop a network of 100,000 charging points by 2030, highlighting Poland as a key market due to its growing economy and commitment to decarbonisation. 

The new stations will be located on roads, in supermarkets, shopping centres, and cities, offering both DC fast charging and level two AC charging.

E.ON, the German energy giant, stands out as another key player, having made significant investments in the territory, covering sectors such as renewable energy generation and the modernisation of electrical grids.

With over one gigawatt in the wind and solar parks, the company is also investing in the digitalisation of the Polish electrical grid, making it smarter and more flexible. 

The company is developing smart grid projects and energy efficiency solutions for consumers, as well as expanding the charging infrastructure for electric vehicles (EVs).

On the other hand, PowerDot, specialising in photovoltaic solar energy, has established solar parks with a total capacity of over 100 megawatts.

Consequently, Cor names Eleport, a leader in shared urban mobility, which has expanded its presence with a large fleet of electric units, including scooters, bicycles, and electric cars. 

Eleport has also installed a network of charging stations across the country and established strategic alliances to increase the availability of charging points.

Finally, with regards to Greenway, a pioneer in electric mobility in the region, it has built an extensive network of rapid and semi-rapid charging stations, covering major cities, motorways, and rural areas.

The company has formed partnerships with car manufacturers, shopping centres, and supermarket chains to expand the charging infrastructure. 

Additionally, Greenway conducts awareness and education campaigns to promote the adoption of electric cars and offers customised charging solutions for businesses and commercial fleets.

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