Mobility Portal, Spain
Date: July 1, 2024
Poland needs more eTruck infrastructure: is there light at the end of the tunnel?
By Lucía Colaluce

Poland needs more eTruck infrastructure: is there light at the end of the tunnel?

The country only has one charging station for about 5,880 electric trucks and delivery vehicles. What measure can accelerate heavy-duty transport electrification in Poland?
Poland eTrucks

Electrification of transport is advancing in Europe, not only in the auto sector but also in trucks.

However, this trend seems not to progress fast enough in Poland.

While by the end of 2023, the country had around 6,568 eTrucks and delivery vehicles – of which only 128 are trucks – according to the Electric Vehicles Promotion Foundation (FPPE)’s figures, the country only possesses one charging station for this segment.

Szymon Żuławiński, PR and Communication Specialist at FPPE.

This is affirmed by Szymon Żuławiński, PR and Communication Specialist at FPPE, in a conversation with Mobility Portal Europe.

“The adoption of Heavy-Duty Electric Vehicles (HDEV) faces challenges, such as the need for more extensive charging infrastructure and greater awareness and initiatives,” says Żuławiński.

However, he acknowledges that “there is a light in this situation.”

“The Polish Ministry of Climate and Environment is finalizing a subsidy program for HDEVs, which is expected to accelerate development,” he emphasizes. 

It is worth mentioning that the new financing scheme for eTrucks and their corresponding charging stations was presented by the Government on February 23, 2024.

Subsidies will vary depending on the size of the applying company and the category of the funded vehicle.

The government has already concluded the public consultations.

However, Żuławiński states that while the grant program is an important element, relying solely on subsidies is not sufficient. 

The truth is that most analyses show that the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for battery vehicles is more favorable compared to combustion ones.

Therefore, high prices should not hinder the development of electromobility in the heavy transport sector.

On the other hand, the Communication Specialist indicates: “It is a scandal that Poland is the country in the European Union with one of the lowest taxes on combustion cars, and there is no indication that this situation will change”.

This is important for the nation, as the truck sector, including electric ones, represents five per cent of the country’s GDP and employs over a million people.

Opportunities and challenges for Poland in the EU

Żuławiński points out that the European Union (EU) elections held on June 6, 2024, should not be overlooked.

Poland has the opportunity to become one of the most important countries in the EU. However, what the state will do with this opportunity is something that remains to be seen,” he opines.

And he continues: “We hope that the Fit for 55 package stays on track and that, those governing our country and other European territories, understand that climate policies should be seen as an opportunity rather than a threat.”

On this issue, and in the face of the recent implementation of the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation (AFIR), the association’s representative highlights: “Some may argue that more flexibility should be provided to accommodate differences in resources and infrastructure deployment, especially in Poland.”

“However, collective efforts are crucial. We need these European laws to combat the effects of climate change. It is important to have ambitious policies to accelerate the process,” he adds.

According to the representative, it is incredibly crucial to recognize that ambitious policies are needed to stimulate development, if effective transformation and climate protection are to be achieved, as he further states that “everyone needs to pitch in for this cause”. 

Żuławiński expresses that, while AFIR “is not flawlessly constructed”, its renegotiation may be worth considering. 

However, the focus should not merely be on the pace of development but primarily on the choice of technology. 

“Why invest in hydrogen infrastructure when market demand is minimal, and scientific evidence suggests that hydrogen won’t dominate transport decarbonization?” he opines. 

About FPPE

The Electric Vehicles Promotion Foundation is a non-governmental organization whose main aim is to support the green transformation of transportation both in Poland and in the rest of Europe.

Their focus lies in developing viable and effective solutions to improve air quality and combat climate change.

“We want to demonstrate that electromobility can also improve our lives by making our cities cleaner and healthier,” explains Żuławiński.

Currently, they are focusing on electrifying heavy-duty transport and introducing low-emission zones in Polish cities.

They also carry out relevant educational projects with sector stakeholders and authorities.

“We achieve this by bringing together different communities: NGOs, companies, and both governmental and local administrations. We also carry out social and educational campaigns,” he emphasizes.

Additionally, he comments: “We are in dialogue with Parliament at the governmental level, educating them about the relevance of these policies and how they can adjust our legislation to facilitate the introduction of LEZs.”

The reason FPPE carries out these committees is that “the biggest threat to any change is fear and misinformation,” according to Żuławiński.

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