Slovakia Automotive Electric Vehicles Action Plan
EU member states have approved the end of fossil fueled passenger cars in 2035. After Germany and France, Slovakia is already now the third-largest electric vehicle producer in Europe (models by Volkswagen Slovakia and Stellantis Slovakia). According to professionals, Slovakia in upcoming years will be successful only if it is attractive in the eyes of key players, i. e. carmakers and biggest suppliers. This goal is achievable through acceptable labor cost, foreseeable business environment, competitiveness of tax & levy burden and high degree of localization of supplier companies.
In June 2023 Slovak government approved an update of its 2019 Action Plan for the Development of Electromobility. Sixteen measures divided into three categories are to reduce the share of emissions in transport, prepare the Slovak automobile industry for transformation, speed up the development of alternative drives in transport and develop electromobility in Slovakia:
A. Financial measures: National network of ultra-fast charging points, building charging infrastructure, supporting public transport, measures for battery systems/storage. and the purchase of emission-free and low-emission vehicles.
B. Legislative measures: Adjustment of distribution tariffs, Ensuring sufficient capacity of distribution systems for the development of charging infrastructure, Introduction of the right to a charging point (“right to plug”), Rules for accounting for charging company vehicles, Support in the field of taxation, Introduction of the “polluter pays” principle, Simplification and acceleration of the infrastructure construction process, New legislation leading to increasing the safety of the operation of electric vehicles, User benefits for green car plates;
C. Supportive measures: Collection and publication of data on infrastructure, Increasing the capacities of human resources.
The Slovak Electric Vehicle Association (SEVA) projects accelerating the growth rate of the number of electric vehicle registrations to 10 percent by 2025 and up to 39 percent by 2030.
By second quarter of 2024, ZSE Drive as the first operator in Slovakia (and one of the first in Europe) will provide a charging hub with six ultrafast charging points with a maximum power of up to 400 kW, supplemented by four 22kW AC charging points and inductive (wireless) charging option in Bratislava. By June 30, 2023, there were 1,600 public charging points at 694 locations in Slovakia (40 percent YOY growth) out of which 68 percent were regular 22kW, 25 percent fast 50kW, 6 percent ultrafast 150+kW and 1 percent ultrafast 350kW.
The focus on electric subsector creates new potential opportunities for US firms in areas such as R&D, consulting and manufacturing.
Background on Slovakia’s Automotive Sector
- In 2022 four Slovak vehicle manufacturers (Volkswagen Slovakia, Kia Motors Slovakia, Stellantis Slovakia, Jaguar Land Rover Slovakia) produced approximately one million cars, which is a slight decrease of less than 5 percent compared to the previous year. Volvo Cars, as the fifth vehicle manufacturer located in Eastern Slovakia plans to have equipment and production lines installed during 2024 and start its 250,000-capacity serial production of pure electric next generation vehicles in 2026. With184 cars per 1,000 inhabitants Slovakia remains an automotive powerhouse.
- In 2022 automotive production comprised 50.3 percent of Slovakia’s industrial production and 42 percent of country’s industrial exports. Car manufacturers exported primarily to EU markets (mainly Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands), Great Britain, the United States, and China. Export markets further afield include Taiwan, Korea, the Near East, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and Uruguay.
- In total, about 350 Tier 1 and Tier 2 auto suppliers in Slovakia provide parts and subassemblies to clients throughout Europe and beyond. In 2022 direct employment in the automotive industry increased by 10,000 to 176,000 people, while the aggregated employment increased to 261,000 people. The Slovak automotive sector still requires new skilled workers. The greatest labor demand is for production operators, blue collar workers, warehousemen and assembly line workers.
- Currently, no form of financial support is provided in Slovakia that would motivate households to buy electric vehicles. The country’s sales of low-emission vehicles at a mere 3 percent (out of 90,074 new car registrations in 2022), which is deeply below the European average of around 19 percent. Low interest in green cars is thus due to their relatively high price but also narrow charging station network, longer charging times, limited range, sale-service network size, and electricity prices.
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