Electric Cars in Cyprus

Электромашины на Кипре
14 December 2022 Irina Starinskaia

Every year on the island of Aphrodite, there are more stylish and environmentally friendly electric cars.

If 7 years ago their number did not exceed forty, today there are about a thousand. And by 2035, the Department of Transport intends to register exclusively electric cars.

In this blog, we will figure out whether an electric car is really a worthwhile purchase, encouraged by the government, or a useless waste of money in conditions of electricity shortages in Cyprus.

It's hard to imagine, but 20 years ago, electric cars were not even allowed on the island's highways due to the minimum speed limit of 65 km/h. Today, the most modern models have a decent range of 300-500 km and speeds ranging from 130 to 400 km/h.

And they don't make noise, they don't pollute the environment, they don't need fuel, and they are terribly expensive because manufacturing an electric car battery is very costly.

The minimum price of a new electric vehicle is 26,500 euros. Prices vary depending on the brand, model, battery capacity, and equipment.

In Cyprus, charging a medium-sized electric car for a 450 km trip costs 15 euros, which is approximately half the price of gasoline spent for the same distance.

The time for charging, depending on the station and car model, varies from 30 minutes to 8 hours. Maintenance costs are minimal, considering that an electric car does not have a conventional engine. However, the battery of a new generation car is not eternal; various manufacturers provide warranties from 7 to 10 years. Thus, in the long run, an electric car will become a truly profitable purchase for many.

The Future of Electric Cars in Cyprus

In the summer of 2022, the European Parliament approved a bill according to which by 2035, vehicles with internal combustion engines will stop being sold. Before that, Cyprus decided that by 2030, a quarter of all registered vehicles must be electric cars.

Cyprus Minister of Transport, Yannis Karousos, considered all these requirements quite realistic and even inevitable in modern conditions. In addition to 2030, the entire government fleet will be replaced with brand new electric cars. And by 2035, the Department of Road Transport of the island of Aphrodite will only register electric cars.

Despite all efforts, it is still difficult to believe in the 100% success of this plan, as currently on the roads of Cyprus, it is difficult to see cars younger than 10 years old.

Subsidies for Purchasing Electric Vehicles and Abandoning Outdated Means of Transport

The strategy for promoting electric cars on the island includes financial support for the purchase of various types of electric cars: from personal cars and commercial buses to motorcycles and small electric scooters.

Interestingly, the program applies not only to new but also to used cars up to three years old. This is because, in the opinion of the authorities, manufacturers simply cannot produce enough cars, and the prices for new ones are too high for the average Cypriot.

Last autumn, the Cyprus government approved a scheme of financial support for those who want to switch to various types of electric cars and are willing to give up a used car (over 12 years old) in favor of more environmentally friendly modes of transport.

Anyone can take advantage of the subsidies, regardless of income level and the purpose of using the electric car. The only limitation is that the program's budget is limited to 4 million euros in the first stage and up to 30 million euros by 2030. The number of subsidies for each specific category of citizens varies from 2 (new electric buses) to 360 (for private new electric cars). In addition, there are restrictions of up to 80,000 euros on the cost of the purchased personal car and 6,000 euros on electric bikes.

For example, if a resident of Cyprus buys a used electric car for personal use by 2030, their subsidy will amount to 4 thousand euros, and when purchasing a new one, it will be 9 thousand euros. A multi-child family purchasing a new electric car will receive a subsidy of 11 thousand euros.

In parallel, according to the Cypriot car scrappage program for vehicles emitting exhaust gases, you can turn in your old car with a petrol engine over 12 years old and receive an additional subsidy of one thousand euros. So, a total of 10 thousand euros.

By 2030, you can even exchange your old car for public transport passes and finally start reading books on the way to work! If this is too radical for you, you can choose any car in the mid-price segment, and it doesn't necessarily have to be electric.

Charging Stations for Electric Cars

The most pressing question for a future electric car owner: how and where to charge the car?

The most convenient way to charge an electric car is to install your own charging station in your yard to charge the car as needed. The cost of such a device is around 5 thousand euros. You need to coordinate the installation with the Electricity Authority. You can also charge from a regular socket, but it will take up to 15 hours, and there is a risk of powering off the entire house if the protection activates. This option is unlikely to be suitable for residents of upper floors in apartment buildings.

Charging stations for electric vehicles are installed in public places on the island so that electric car owners can travel around the island. The Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) website has a navigation map of stations with addresses and availability, as well as instructions on how to start using them.

It is expected that by 2026, there will be no fewer than 1000 charging stations for such cars in Cyprus.

As of today, there are only 57, which is the lowest figure in Europe, but almost twice as many as on the island last year. By the way, the Netherlands leads the list in terms of the number of stations, where there are over 90 thousand charging stations, followed by Germany with 60 thousand stations and France, which already has almost 40 thousand stations.

One thousand charging stations for medium and fast charging, planned to be opened in Cyprus by 2026, will be located in public places, near hospitals and government institutions, as well as private enterprises.

As Yannis Karousos assumes, most charging stations for electric cars will be located in private houses with installed photovoltaic systems. More affordable stations will also be installed along roads and in populated areas.

How Charging for Electric Cars is Paid

The costs of charging the car are paid along with other electronic payments. The infrastructure of the charging system in Cyprus is controlled and managed by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), which also monitors the process of charging electric vehicles.

Charging stations for electric vehicles installed by the EAC use Mode 3 with two-way communication between the car and the charging station throughout the charging period. Each charging station has two type 2 sockets in accordance with international standards and recommendations of the European Commission and Eurelectric.

Each user of the system will be charged 25 euros for the first invoice for connection and issuance of a special card, as well as a deposit of 30 euros for each card, which will be refunded if the user wants to terminate the agreement. The subscription fee will be 5.76 euros (plus VAT) every two months. Bills will also be sent to electric car owners every two months.

Is Cyprus Ready for Electric Cars?

To travel around the island in an electric car today, it is recommended to plan your trip in advance so as not to end up stranded in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night on your fashionable steed.

It should be remembered that the energy consumption of an electric car also depends on the number and weight of passengers, the frequency of using the air conditioner and various gadgets, as well as weather conditions.

Moreover, the real environmental friendliness of an electric car directly depends on how the electricity is obtained: from fuel oil or with the help of the sun. The battery itself is toxic and requires proper disposal. That is why it is so important to continue developing infrastructure in parallel with the introduction of a new type of transport.

Hybrids are also a good alternative to traditional gasoline cars, as they can drive on battery power for a significant amount of time, significantly reducing the amount of exhaust gases emitted into the atmosphere.

Today, Cypriot owners of fashionable electric cars often do not rely on just one car. Nearby, as a backup, there is often an old reliable friend running on gasoline or diesel. It just makes them feel more comfortable.

Are you ready to switch to a modern electric car? Or are you still contemplating?

A wide selection of cars in Cyprus is available at domcar.cy.
Source: DOM
Photos: DOM, Pixabay, eac.com.cy
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