Moscow, capital of oil-rich Russia, targets growth of electric cars

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  • Russia lags behind European peers in electric vehicle adoption
  • Moscow officials hope new infrastructure will boost demand
  • Plans the green conversion of the public transport fleet

MOSCOW, July 20 (Reuters) – Moscow, the capital of one of the world’s largest hydrocarbon exporters, plans to increase the use of electric cars by rolling out a series of charging infrastructure in the coming years, the city’s top transport official told Reuters.

The use of electric cars in the Russian oil and gas giant lags far behind other European capitals. But Moscow plans to install 200 electric charging stations per year starting this year, said Maxim Liksutov, head of the city’s transport department.

“There are currently around 2,000 (electric) cars in Moscow and their number is increasing every year by around 10-15%. The charging infrastructure must appear for it to develop further,” Liksutov said in an interview. .

It was natural for Moscow, a city of over 12.5 million people, to follow the global trend that has seen a boom in the use of electric vehicles in recent years, he added.

Moscow has changed dramatically since Sergei Sobyanin was appointed mayor in 2010. He has pedestrianized streets, widened sidewalks and redesigned Soviet-era parks.

The Russian capital will have around 600 city-owned charging stations by 2023, Liksutov said.

It also wants to replace its public transport fleet – mainly its buses – to run on green energy within the next eight years, he said.

Of the roughly 45 million cars in circulation in Russia, only 11,000 were electric at the start of this year, and they were served by around 1,000 charging stations, according to the power generation company RusHydro.

The European Union, for comparison, had more than one million electric cars at the end of 2019, according to the Association of European Automobile Manufacturers.

The Association of European Businesses (AEB), a lobby of foreign investors in Russia, predicts that at least 1,000 electric cars will be sold in the country this year, with the market expected to double each year in the future.

Liksutov said Moscow would follow international guidelines recommending cities to install more charging infrastructure than is initially needed to boost future demand.

The city will also streamline the approval process for private charging stations.

“The first steps must be taken by the city authorities,” Liksutov said.

(This story corrects to “this year”, not next year, in the second paragraph after official clarification)

Additional reporting by Anastasia Lyrchikova; Writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Joe Bavier

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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