The Greek government wants to promote the use of electric cars and natural gas in transport, along with expanding the use of biofuel, as part of its actions to reduce emissions, Environment and Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said on Monday.
Addressing an Ecomobility Conference in Athens, Hatzidakis said the ministry was examining plans to offer incentives for the purchase and use of electric cars and made special mention of an idea for linking the country’s tourist product with electric transport. “On the islands, electric cars have no problem of autonomy. It’s worth adding clean transport to the islands’ brand,” he said.
The Greek minister said a National Plan for Energy and Climate included a goal that one in three new vehicles will be electric by 2030. He acknowledged that this goal sounded ambitious today, but noted that developments and technological progress could surpass this goal in the future. Hatzidakis said the government planned to support domestic production of biofuel and presented plans to promote use of CNG in light vehicles and LNG in heavy vehicles and shipping. The national plan envisages the development of 8 LNG fuel stations and 55 CNG fuel stations by 2030 (from 15 at present).
Addressing the conference, Alexandra Sdoukou, secretary-general of Energy and Raw Materials, said the environment and energy ministry was examining plans to offer financial incentives for the purchase of electric cars (tax cuts and lower duties, or subsidising the purchase price) along with other incentives to facilitate their use, such as free parking. She noted that electric cars accounted for less than 1.0 pct of total car sales in 2019 in Greece and stressed that according to EU data, Athens – along with Milan – have the highest emissions rate from transport and vehicles (75 pct) and this was related to the fact that Greece has one of the more aged car fleets in the EU.