Bulgarian Govt Moves to Subsidize Electric Car Buyers with BGN 5 000Industry | October 17, 2012, Wednesday // 19:15| views
In August 2012, Bulgaria's Economy Minister Dobrev opened the 8th electric car charging station in Sofia. File photo by BGNES
Any legal or natural person in Bulgaria will be entitled to a BGN 5 000 as a subsidy for the purchase of an electric vehicle, according to draft legislation, a National Plan to encourage production and accelerated introduction of new eco-friendly vehicles.
The Plan was adopted Wednesday by the Bulgarian Cabinet of PM Boyko Brosisov; it also provides for a BGN 2500 subsidy for the purchasers of hybrids.
However, it does not envisage subsidies for cars that have been converted into electricity-powered vehicle – regardless of the fact that Bulgaria’s Electric Vehicles Industrial Cluster – an advocacy NGO – has been advocating an emphasis on the so called converted cars as a means of boosting the Bulgarian car industry.
The draft document also provides opportunities for tax breaks and exemptions from road fees based on the specific characteristics of each electric vehicle.
Bulgaria’s plan for encouragement of electric vehicles was first proposed by Economy Minister Delyan Dobrev over the past summer.
Critics have been quick to comment that the draft legislation leaves many question marks.
For example, it is still unclear how Bulgaria’s state budget will raise the money needed to subsidize the buyers of electric vehicles; the document mentions carbon trade as a potential source of funding.
What is more, the Bulgarian government is to decide every year how many new owners of electric cars it can sponsor depending on the funding that it has available.
The Cabinet’s National Plan for eco-friendly vehicles further provides for accelerated construction of charging stations, with EU funding expected to be used for the purpose.
Further benefits proposed to be enjoyed by the owners of electric vehicles in Bulgaria include the right to use the bus lanes in big cities as well as the potential exemption from vehicle registration fees.
In August 2012, Sofia Mayor Yordanka Fandakova said the city had 5 or 6 new electric cars on its streets, with 9 charging stations already available. The cheapest new electric cars offered in Bulgaria cost about BGN 60 000.