New e-mobility study: Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) still lagging behind Western Europe 

– Best practices established by Germany, France or Denmark still not adopted by the CEE countries
– Austria no. 1 in the region with 600 registered electric vehicles, followed by the Czech Republic and Poland
– Austria is the only country in the region with an e-mobility strategy in place – government support needed
– CEE region has high e-mobility potential – almost 25% of new cars in 2025 are expected to be electric-powered
– Utilities and automakers need to start getting ready now to be ready for the upcoming e-mobility boom

In terms of e-mobility, Central and Eastern Europe still lag far behind Western Europe. This is the finding of a study conducted by Roland Berger Strategy Consultants, which analyzed e mobility in eight CEE countries. Utilities and automotive manufacturers need to develop strategies now if they want to benefit from the future potential of e-mobility.

“Although we have seen some very interesting e-mobility initiatives in the CEE region in recent years, there is still significant room for improvement,” says Roland Zsilinszky, Prague-based automotive expert at Roland Berger. “All key stakeholders, be they utilities, automakers or governments, need to work in close partnership and learn from the best practice examples to push e-mobility further in CEE,” adds Alexander Kainer, energy expert at Roland Berger´s Vienna office.
Austria is the region´s pioneer

With 600 registered electric vehicles (EVs), Austria is the leader in Central and Eastern Europe. Its major utilities are currently participating in pilot projects across five model regions, and the government has provided financial support. The other countries are far behind: the Czech Republic and Poland are a distant second, with smaller pilot projects and fewer than 100 electric vehicles.

“The Austrian government aims to have 250,000 EVs on the streets by 2020 and offers subsidies for EV buyers of up to EUR 5,000 per car,” says Jan Sklenar, automotive expert at Roland Berger´s Prague office. “There are no similar initiatives in either the Czech Republic or Poland.” The study classified the other CEE countries as “followers” (Romania, Hungary, Slovenia, Slovakia) or “laggards” (Croatia). For the utilities and carmakers in these countries, e-mobility is barely an issue.
Increased involvement of utilities and automakers plus government support required

Utilities and automakers in Austria, Czech Republic and Poland show considerable interest in e-mobility, whereas their counterparts in other countries are more restrained. “The Czech energy group CEZ shows how pilot projects and infrastructure can drive e-mobility forward,” says Zsilinszky. According to the study authors, e-mobility pilot projects should generate know-how by testing the infrastructure and business models.

Clear support from authorities is also crucial, especially in the early stage of an e-mobility program. Without federal or local government support, development of e-mobility won´t proceed as quickly as in other markets. “To get e-mobility on the road, authorities should follow Austria´s example: set up expert committees, develop strategies and define focused actions,” notes Kainer.
CEE region has high potential in e-mobility

The role e-mobility will play in future transportation systems in CEE will be just as crucial as in Western European countries. Almost 25% of new cars sold in 2025 in CEE are expected to be electric-powered, that is, over 640,000 new EVs on the street every year. Although e-mobility has already been established in CEE, Roland Berger experts do not expect the boom to truly take off before 2015. By then, mass production of EVs will be ramped up and the number of EV users is likely to grow, especially in the B2B segment at first. The B2C segment will start to grow in 2020, if the production costs of EVs, batteries and accessories can be cut. “The key question is no longer whether e-mobility will come, but rather how and when,” says Zsilinszky. “All stakeholders, from utilities to carmakers, need to prepare themselves for the full-scale launch of e-mobility and develop suitable strategies.”

Source: Roland Berger Strategy Consultants / Munich/Prague, October 24, 2011
Find the original text on the website of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.