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Alternative fuels strategy adopted

After 2030 it will no longer be possible to register a new car with a carbon footprint larger than 50 g of carbon dioxide (CO2) per km in Slovenia. In comparison, today only electric cars and plug-in hybrids are below that level.

Five years earlier, from 2025 on, registration of new cars and light commercial vehicles of categories that have a total carbon footprint of less than 100 g of CO2 per km according to the manufacturer’s declaration will also be restricted. These are important goals of the Alternative Fuels Strategy, which the government adopted at today’s session. The Strategy supports an increase in the number of electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles and vehicles using fossil fuels that have a lower adverse impact on the environment than the vehicles we use today.

 

This document transposes into Slovenian legislation the European Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive, whereby alternative fuels include electricity, compressed and liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and biomethane, biofuels, synthetic and paraffin-based fuels and hydrogen.

 

The Strategy proposes sets of measures for each alternative fuel, on the basis of which a detailed action plan for 2018–2020 will be drawn up in the next six months. Priority will be given to measures that establish a charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and for vehicles using compressed and liquefied natural gas; this will enable the government to promote the increased popularity of vehicles that run on alternative fuels. Measures are envisaged for all areas, from financial incentives, co-financing of the construction of alternative fuels infrastructure and amendments to legislation, to the promotion of innovative solutions, the acceleration of economic development, public information and the removal of administrative barriers. The action plan will also set out in detail the resources for the implementation of the individual measures, deadlines and development stakeholders. Financial incentives for the purchase of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, exemption from the payment of various fees for electric vehicles, free parking, etc. will certainly remain part of these measures.

 

The use of alternative fuels is important in order to achieve the environmental targets in the area of greenhouse gas and pollutant emissions. Slovenia has stringent targets, since despite the fact that traffic density is increasing rapidly, it has to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9% in 2030 relative to 2020 levels. This therefore means an increase in emissions of 18% relative to 2005, however, one has to take into account the fact that traffic on some sections has doubled since 2005, and that freight transport is projected to grow by between 60 and 80%, and private transport by 30% by 2030. By 2029 and after 2030, the following pollutants will have to be reduced by the following respective amounts relative to 2005: sulphur dioxide by 63 and 92%, nitrogen oxides by 39 and 65%, non-methane volatile organic compounds by 23 and 53%, ammoniac by 1 and 15% and solid particles (PM2.5) by 25 and 60%.

 

If Slovenia is to achieve its alternative fuels targets by 2030, in addition to measures for improving public transport, we have to ensure that at least 17% of the cars travelling on its roads are electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles (200,000 vehicles), 12% of light commercial vehicles are electric (11,000 vehicles), a third of all buses run on compressed natural gas (1,150 buses) and almost 12% of heavy goods vehicles (just over 4,300 vehicles) run on liquefied natural gas. As the number of vehicles running on alternative fuels will increase, the number of charging and filling stations will have to be increased, on motorways and elsewhere. Slovenia is one of the first countries in Europe to have installed high-powered e-chargers on its motorway network. This network will be significantly expanded over the next five years, enabling Slovenia to provide coverage of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) with chargers. With the projected growth in traffic, Slovenia will require 1,200 standard-power chargers for domestic transport by 2020, rising to 7,000 by 2025 and 22,300 by 2030. In addition, all ships arriving in the port in Koper will have to be supplied with electricity and liquefied natural gas from land by 2025. 

 

In order to reach the environmental targets it will also be necessary to significantly increase the consumption of biodiesel, starting in 2018 with a 7% mixture of biodiesel with fossil diesel with an increasing share in the following years, and a gradual increase in the percentage of heavy goods vehicles running on pure biodiesel (B 100) from 0 to 10% from 2020 to 2030.

 

In order to ensure that traffic causes the least possible amount of environmental pollution, we have to promote a sustainable transport policy: pedestrian and bicycle traffic within settlements and increasing the competitiveness of public transport. But this will not be enough, since due to the dispersed nature of the settlements in many parts of Slovenia it is difficult to replace car use with public transport. Slovenia will therefore have to be sufficiently ambitious in its introduction of alternative transport fuels to ensure that the mobility that will continue to be provided by private vehicles pollutes the environment as little as possible. This is also one of the objectives of the Strategy.

 

Another key to a faster transition to green mobility in the area of private vehicles is the car industry’s contribution through improvements in the area of electro mobility, the use of hydrogen and fuel cells and innovations and improvements to classical internal combustion engines. Technological advancements will allow faster development and will allow us to reach the targets more quickly.

 

The Ministry of Infrastructure will draw up an annual review of the results in this area and propose amendments to the Strategy to the government as needed. This grew out of a study of additional measures needed in order to increase the percentage of vehicles running on alternative fuels in Slovenia, which was conducted by a consortium led by the University of Ljubljana Institute of Chemistry.

The study found that Slovenia currently has 227 public access electrical charging stations with 470 connections, 1 hydrogen filling station, 115 for liquefied petroleum gas and 4 for compressed natural gas, but has no filling stations for liquefied natural gas and 100% biodiesel. The vehicle fleet is slowly catching up to the charging infrastructure. The largest number of alternative-fuel vehicles run on liquefied petroleum gas (at the end of 2016 there were 8,980 registered), 124 on compressed natural gas and 6 on hydrogen (modified vehicles). There are nearly 1,000 electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, but their numbers lag far behind the charging infrastructure, if we assume that one connection is sufficient to charge 10 vehicles, and we have 470 of them.

 

Slovenia promotes the purchase of alternative-fuel vehicles through subsidies for electric vehicles, which are also exempt from payment of annual fees for use of vehicles on roads. There are also favourable loans available for purchasing cars, motorcycles and electric or hybrid-drive bikes whose CO2 emissions are less than 110 g/km. Vehicles whose CO2 emissions are less than 110 g/km are charged a lower rate (0.5%) on their motor vehicle tax. Some municipalities and providers offer free parking and charging of electric vehicles.

 

Alternative Fuels Strategy