Austria

1. What EVs have been deployed in your jurisdiction to date?

EVs currently represent a small proportion of the total number of vehicles registered in Austria.

Electric Vehicles

Total Vehicles

EV Percentage

Cars

18,645

4,898,578

0.38%

Motorbikes/Trikes/Quadricycles

8,469

825,267

1.02%

HGVs and Buses 

1,922

415,861

0.46%

Total

29,036

6,139,706

0.47%

While the share of EVs is small compared to the total number of vehicles registered, the last few years have seen a significant increase in the number of new EVs registered. 2017 showed a 63.9% increase in the total number of EVs compared to the previous year. The biggest year-on-year change occurred in 2011, which saw an increase in the total number of EVs of 180.2%.

2. Is there any specific legislation for/regulation of EVs in your jurisdiction?

Regulation for EVs in Austria is carried out both at the national and regional level. At the national level, the EU Directive 2014/94/EU on alternative fuels infrastructure was implemented in 2016 through the “Clean Energy in Transport” policy framework. The “E-Mobility Package” sets out the first measures of the national policy, and these came into force on 1 March 2017.

At the regional level, each federal state has produced a strategy to promote the use of EVs. These strategies largely relate to the authorisation and approval process in each state, with the overarching goal of harmonisation and the reduction of overall carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere.

3. What measures promote EVs in your jurisdiction?

The 2016 E-Mobility Package introduced, for the first time, a complete support package for EVs in Austria. This encompasses both electric cars and other electric vehicles such as electric heavy goods vehicles, buses and motorbikes. For example, the purchase of EVs by companies is supported by a grant of EUR 1,500 per vehicle (for pure EVs).

The “Lighthouse of E-Mobility” was a key programme that supported various projects with the goal of bridging the gap between technology development and commercialisation. The programme granted a total of around EUR 41m between 2009 and 2016.
At the regional level, each federal state has its own system of grants and other support measures designed to promote the development of both EVs and the necessary infrastructure.

4. Who are the main entities (e.g. developers, government, System Operator) and what are their roles in the deployment of EVs in your jurisdiction?

The Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology is responsible for implementing the E-Mobility package on a national level. The Federal Association for E-Mobility in Austria (BEÖ) has created the “Austria Hub” in cooperation with HUBJECT, a roaming platform which links all charging stations throughout Austria.

Another key entity is Verbund, Austria’s largest electricity provider. Verbund, in connection with Siemens and OMV, owns SMATRICS, a full-service e-mobility provider. SMATRICS is the first entity to establish a comprehensive public charging network supplied with 100% renewable energy.

5. What are the main challenges to further deployment of EVs in your jurisdiction? How have EV developers sought to overcome these challenges to date?

Challenges to further development of EVs in Austria include:

  • the lack of quick charging stations, in particular on main routes through Austria.
  • the high price of EVs compared with traditional vehicles.
  • the relatively low capacity of batteries.

The infrastructure in Austria is developing and there is still more to be done. Currently, there are 2,383 public charging stations, but only 16% of these provide quick charging. The intention is to continue expanding both the network and the infrastructure behind it.

With the various support and monetary grants provided to Austrian companies developing clean EV technology, the aim is to overcome the other challenges through investment in technology to make e-mobility a practical, reliable and convenient alternative to fossil-fuelled vehicles.