Free electricity for electric and hybrid cars in Croatia will be discontinued later this year, as owners of electric vehicle charging stations move towards charging for their services, reports Jutarnji List on May 7, 2019.
According to available data, Croatia currently has charging stations at 272 locations with 693 connections. The HEP public company, which has 65 fast-charging stations throughout Croatia, has announced the start of charging by the end of the year. “Charging is free for now, but it will not stay that way, because electricity is not free to the service providers. We are currently considering various options for charging,” HEP says.
The most significant number of public charging stations is managed by the Croatian Telecom (HT); they operate 125 stations with 170 connections. The HT explained that they are a service provider, but they are not the owner. They just set up and manage the stations for individual investors, owners of particular locations. For now, there are seven stations set up by the HT which charge for its services. Depending on the payment method, the price is between 1.06 to 1.13 kuna per minute. The HT explains that it is up to the investor to decide whether they will charge for the service or offer it free of charge.
Far behind HEP and HT is the Hungarian MOL, which has just launched this service in Croatia. The Tifon company, which is part of MOL, is the first in Croatia to open charging stations on one of the Croatian motorways. They have opened two stations on the Rijeka – Zagreb highway and will start charging from May 16. Slow charging (AC) will cost 54.90 kuna, and quick charging (DC) 74.90 kuna. Tifon argues that “charging is necessary to cover operating costs, such as the cost of installation, maintenance, employees, electricity, IT system.” Tifon should open two more charging stations by the end of the month, this time on the Zagreb – Split motorway, which should at least partially solve the problems for foreign tourists coming to Croatia with electric or hybrid cars.
The electric vehicle charging service is relatively new in Croatia, and it has been offered for free to promote e-mobility. Since the installation of stations has often been financed from the EU funds, the cost for the owner was not too high. But the cost of electricity used by drivers has been paid by the operators, and that will now change.
According to the latest data, there are 459 electric and 3,717 hybrid cars registered in Croatia. Their number is quite small, which is also indicated by the number of charging operations at public stations. HEP says that, depending on the location, the number of charging operations ranges from one to 500 per month per station. HT has between 1 and 25 a day, and since 2015, when they launched the project, they have recorded more than 50,000 charging operations. However, the daily numbers increase dramatically during the summer months, with the arrival of foreign tourists.
More news about electric vehicles in Croatia can be found in the Lifestyle section.
Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Krešimir Žabec).