Romania will have some delay in the transition to electric vehicles, one of the major obstacles being the high price of the vehicles and the insufficient charging infrastructure, reveals the data of a select report, presented on Tuesday in a workshop by the 2Celsius Association.
According to the research dubbed “Transition to electric vehicles in Romania and its socio-economic impact”, even if the two car groups present in Romania, Ford and Renault, are among the manufacturers who announced that they will have in their portfolio only purely electric cars until 2030, at least in Europe, “there are clear signs that in Romania the two companies intend to switch to the production of electric vehicles a little later than in the other European countries”.
“Ford sold, in 2022, the Craiova plant to the Ford Otosan joint venture and, even if de facto we are still talking about a Ford plant in Romania, the new owner has no commitment to fully switch to production of electric cars in 2030, with the company specializing in the production of commercial vehicles, including heavy commercial vehicles, which will make a significant transition later. It is still expected that the Puma model will become 100 pct electric in 2030 at the latest, and the company’s announcements have confirmed the option of a purely electric engine for the van that will be produced in Craiova starting in 2023/2024. For Dacia, the situation is somewhat more uncertain. The management of Renault has explicitly mentioned that Dacia will make the transition to purely electric cars “at the last minute”, since a faster transition would be very difficult for the price segment dominated by Dacia. For these reasons, the forecasts regarding the production of purely electric cars in Romania are relatively reserved: about 97,000 purely electric vehicles in 2028 (or 16 pct of the total), all at the factory in Craiova, the industry doing everything and until then an almost complete transition to hybrid engines,” the 2Celsius report states.
Regarding the obstacles that may stand in Romania’s transition to electric vehicles, one refers to the high prices, and the second to the availability of the charging infrastructure. According to Eurostat, in 2021 our country had only 0.4 pct of the total charging points in the EU, for 5.8 pct of the surface of the Union, and in relation to one hundred kilometers of road we are talking about 1.3 charging points, of almost 50 times less than in the Netherlands.
A study published by Transport & Environment in 2020 indicates a need for 25,400 charging points in Romania in 2030, while a recent analysis by the European Association of Automobile Manufacturers shows that Romania would need 130 new upload charging points every week until 2030.
“In this case, the only logical possibilities to reach the 2035 deadline with some level of infrastructure preparation would be massive investments in the 2031-2035 range, whether it is the dramatic decrease of the requirement itself, more precisely, the significant reduction in the use of vehicles in Romania,” the research states.
Eurostat data shows that, before the pandemic, Romania had the fifth largest automotive industry in terms of number of employed people, after Germany, France, Poland and the Czech Republic. Approximately 180,000 people worked in the automotive industry in Romania before the pandemic, equivalent to 2.7 pct of the total employed population. If the sales and service networks are added, it reaches a number of 283,000 employed people in 2019 (5.5 pct share of the total number of employees). These workers generated, before the pandemic, over 6.4 billion euros in added value, of which 4.4 billion euros in industry, respectively one billion euros in sales and service (7.7 pct of the total added value from the competitive economy), Agerpres reports.