On the second day of the “Mobility Portal Charge Infrastructure Summit,” Kasia Sobótka, Investment Manager in E-mobility at Claritas Investments, discusses the challenges they faced during last month’s women’s electric car tour.
“The worst part of the journey was in Poland. It was quite difficult because there were not enough chargers with high power,” indicates Sobótka.
“So, what is missing is a lot of high-speed charging hubs on the highways and speedways,” she emphasizes.
The women participating in the route had to do prior planning to determine where to charge the batteries and avoid other inconveniences, as the four EVs had different ranges and charging speeds.
It’s worth mentioning that the tour started on October 16, departed from Warsaw, Poland, passed through Riga, Latvia, and concluded in Lahti, Finland.
“The situation changed completely upon crossing the border because from Latvia to Finland, there were quite a few stations with high-power chargers, so we could charge the cars simultaneously,” acknowledges Sobótka.
“The journey was a bit challenging in Poland, but it didn’t take much longer than if we had driven internal combustion engine vehicles,” she adds.
The country has a total of 50,000 electric cars and around 3,000 hubs.
“Poland is a rather challenging country in terms of electromobility because the number of chargers is not sufficient for fleet electrification plans,” laments the Investment Manager.
The lack of high-power stations is considered one of the major limitations for the deployment of electric mobility, creating doubt among people when deciding to switch from combustion to EVs.
However, the lack of points is not only a problem faced by Poland.
“When I talk to colleagues from other countries who also drive electric cars, they always complain about the lack of chargers,” says Sobótka.
“Despite many operators and manufacturers of both AC and DC chargers, there is still a lack of sufficient infrastructure variety for the transition from internal combustion vehicles to electric ones to be comfortable,” she adds.
On another note, Sobótka highlights that another issue relates to obtaining a connection to the grid for chargers.
The reality is that, in Poland, this process can take between 12 and 24 months, or even longer.
“It is important to support in terms of regulation and finance the growth of the distribution network, and, of course, the government should play a vital role and be supportive of electromobility,” comments the Investment Manager.
Will there be another women’s electric car tour?
Kasia Sobotka began working in the electromobility sector six years ago.
During this time, she has observed that while there are many women driving electric cars, there aren’t as many actively involved in the sector.
“Typically, in discussion panels at events and in projects, women participate, but not as many. That’s why I decided to create Everywoman, under the auspices of the Polish Alternative Fuels Association (PSPA),” she explains.
One of the initiatives that emerged in this network is the electric route from Poland to Finland.
The objective of the expedition is to promote the development of sustainable transportation while also advocating for cancer prevention and surveillance, within the framework of “Pink October.”
Although it is not yet confirmed whether a new tour will take place in 2024, the Everywoman network will continue to organize other activities and events in the coming months.
“We still don’t know if we will undertake a new route, but if we do, perhaps we will go in another direction, maybe Spain or Portugal. We have to decide,” Sobotka anticipates to Mobility Portal Europe.
The complete interview with Kasia Sobótka: