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Squeezing in an electric refueling station

The development of charging infrastructure for electric transport in cities depends on the interaction of investors and municipalities.

The transport sector is one of the main emitters of greenhouse gases. According to the Ministry of Economic Development, there are about 60 million cars with an internal combustion engine in Russia, including 45 million cars, which give 10-15% of CO2 emissions. An ecologically acceptable solution to the issue is seen as a massive transition to electric transport, although its development is still constrained by a number of factors, including the lack of charging stations. In the Far East, as well as in the country as a whole, the number of electric filling stations will grow, but, business representatives note, it is difficult to resolve this issue without the help of local authorities.

Squeezing in an electric refueling station
Photo: Khabarovsk Administration Press Service

Rent for a nominal fee

The Far East is one of the most advanced Russian regions in terms of the use of personal electric vehicles. Here, there are approximately 25% of the total electric vehicle fleet in Russia (in the first half of 2021, their number exceeded 12 thousand units in the country). This is explained by the fact that a large number of electric cars come from Japan through Vladivostok, including the popular Nissan Leaf models.

Now every month about 10 thousand electric vehicles are charged at the electric charging stations of PJSC RusHydro in the Far Eastern Federal District. By the beginning of 2023, the energy holding plans to triple the number of electric power stations in the Far East - from the current 50 to 150.

However, the company speaks of insufficient assistance in this matter from the local authorities. According to Dmitry Belyaev, director of the department for strategic transactions at RusHydro, there is no program at the municipal level to help the operator allocate land plots for the development of electric charging stations. In a number of cases, the company tries to place electric filling stations on the territory of commercial structures (near shopping and business centers, cinemas, hotels), but it is not always possible to reach an agreement with the landlords.

“Unfortunately, we are perceived as a commercial client. It is proposed to rent parking spaces at a shopping center full-time, but we understand that a charging station cannot work if a monthly rent is paid for it, for example, 15 thousand rubles. We can pay symbolic money - several thousand rubles. Therefore, many places have to be abandoned, ”the manager emphasized.

For the Far East, the issue of expanding the network of charging stations is quite relevant, says Dmitry Belyaev. If the European Porsche, Audi, Mercedes or American Tesla has a battery capacity of 60-90 kW / h or more, then the Japanese Nissan Leaf or hybrids like Mitsubishi Outlander - 20-30 kW / h. This makes the vehicle's mileage from one battery charge very limited.

Lack of charging infrastructure will hold back demand for sustainable modes of transport. According to a survey conducted this year by the auto portal "Drom" (10,1 thousand participants voted), 63% would like to buy an electric car in the foreseeable future. But 28% of the respondents postpone the purchase due to the high price and a small choice of vehicles, and 23% - due to the lack of EZS.

Get ready to charge

The approaches to the development of charging stations in the regions of the Far Eastern Federal District are not the same. On Sakhalin, under the auspices of the regional government, a special program has been implemented for several years, which provides for support of investors who invest in such facilities. In the island region, an ambitious goal is set - in the near future the number of EZS should increase to 500 (now about 45). This, according to the Ministry of Energy of the Sakhalin Region, should be facilitated by the support by the executive authorities and municipalities of the issues of placement and technological connection of charging stations.

Photo: Press Service of the Government of Sakhalin Region

In Buryatia, it is only supposed to create a working group for the development of infrastructure for electric cars. A corresponding agreement was recently reached between the leadership of the region and the Rosseti company, which now has over 260 charging power plants in the country. “We need to understand your plans for the development of this area so that we can move with you, adjusting our vision to the needs of the region,” said Pavel Akilin, general director of Rosseti Siberia, at a meeting with the governor of the republic, Alexei Tsydenov.

The ambiguous situation in the Khabarovsk Territory. The company "EVcar27", which is engaged in the supply and installation of charging stations, said that they are faced with the constant problem of coordinating places for their placement. “We know the city better, we know better the locations that are interesting for residents. But when you contact the departments of the city administration with a request to consider the possibility of installing stations in different parts of Khabarovsk, we get answers that either this is not their profile, or we are being transferred to other departments, but the issue has not been resolved, ”the EastRussia interlocutor complained.

According to him, often the equipment originally intended for the Khabarovsk Territory is sold to Sakhalin, where the network of electric power stations is being expanded. “If a charging station is commissioned in the Sakhalin region, then a significant part of the cost is subsidized. We don't have that. They have introduced a preferential tariff for electricity, while in our region there is no such preference, "- said in" EVcar27 ".

The preferences are expedient, since in conditions of low traffic, the charging infrastructure (the cost of one station is from 1,5 million rubles) does not pay off. According to RusHydro, each EZS serves on average no more than 10-20 vehicles per day.

The department of industry, transport and communications of Khabarovsk assured that they are working closely in this direction with investors. But there are certain regulations that must be observed, in particular, with regard to the conduct of competitive procedures for obtaining a land plot for lease. Nevertheless, last month the mayor's office offered RusHydro several places for the placement of charging stations.

The opening ceremony of the charging station in Khabarovsk
Photo: Khabarovsk Administration Press Service

In addition, under the patronage of the regional government, a list of territories and highways should be formed, where EZS will be installed in the first place. The Ministry of Transport and Roads of the Khabarovsk Territory did not respond to the corresponding request from EastRussia.

According to official data, there are about 25 charging stations in Khabarovsk, most of which are located at Rosneft gas stations (as part of a partnership with RusHydro). If all of them work stably, this is a fairly good result for the city, where just over 800 electric vehicles were registered in the middle of this year, says Alexander Golovko, executive director of the interregional branch of Business Russia in the Khabarovsk Territory and the Jewish Autonomous Region. At the same time, he admits, there are no particular people among the local business community who want to invest in the market of charging infrastructure for light electric vehicles. “There is an understanding that this is not yet so in demand to invest. Nevertheless, there are examples when a development company implements a development project and places a gas station for electric vehicles next to the residential complex in the parking lot, ”said Alexander Golovko.

Participation in urban planning programs can contribute to the expansion of the EZS network, notes the Rosseti company. However, questions remain about what scenario the development of this infrastructure will follow. “If it is even more or less clear on the highways, a station needs to be installed for every 100 km, then in cities this will have to be studied. It all depends on who will be the owner of the charging station (private owners, taxi, car sharing), in which building sector it will be located: in a one-story one - one story, in a multi-story one - completely different, ”explained the acting director. Konstantin Kravchenko, Deputy General Director for Digital Transformation of PJSC Rosseti.

Charging investment

In August this year, the country adopted the Concept for the Development of Electric Transport until 2030, according to which it is expected that the production of electric vehicles in the Russian Federation should be at least 10% of the total production of vehicles. To achieve this, a number of tasks need to be solved. In particular, to stimulate the demand for electric cars, the price of which is now much higher than for analogues with an internal combustion engine. According to the Drom auto portal, the average cost of an electric car is 1,4 million rubles, which is twice as expensive as a car with an internal combustion engine (632 thousand rubles).

In this regard, 25% discounts are planned through the state, but no more than 625 thousand rubles. Electric vehicles will fall under this program, the manufacturers of which have entered into a special investment contract (SPIC) with the Russian government and plan to localize production or organize a large subassembly in the Russian Federation.

It is difficult to say how much motorists will actively change into electric cars. According to the government of the Russian Federation, by 2030 the park of electric cars in the country will amount to 1,4 million units, including light commercial vehicles. PwC's forecast is much more modest: in eight years, this figure will not exceed 630 thousand.

Photo: Press Service of the Government of Sakhalin Region

In any case, the forecast indicates a multiple growth of personal electric transport, which means that a lot of EZS will be needed. In total, by 2025, according to the plans of the Ministry of Economic Development, it is planned to build 3 thousand fast charging stations in Russia (with a capacity of 150 kW for 2 charging ports), by 2030 - about 28 thousand. country, it is necessary to provide state support for the creation of related infrastructure, and at a faster pace. From 2022 to 2024, 8,1 billion rubles are allocated from the federal budget for these purposes.

“The players who are now on the market will really be able to accelerate the development of infrastructure and implement those charging points that they cannot yet do on their own. With the help of the state it will become possible, ”Dmitry Belyaev said.

Alexander Golovko emphasizes that now the federal authorities are concerned about the fight against the consequences of the pandemic and it is hardly worth waiting for active state financing of the electric charging network. Therefore, while the situation will depend mainly on private initiative.

Meanwhile, there is an opportunity to solve a number of organizational issues, for example, related to technical connection. At the moment, the network infrastructure of power engineers meets the needs of emerging charging stations, but you need to be prepared when their rapid growth begins. Since this market is just emerging, it is important now to develop the right approach to the management of both the electric power stations themselves and the balanced capacity that will need to be maintained for the technological stability of distribution networks, says Konstantin Kravchenko.

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