Electric vehicle regulation and law in Poland

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

In the first quarter of 2017, 203 EVs and 3,781 hybrid vehicles were registered in Poland. Compared to the same quarter of 2016, this was an increase of 75% in sales of EVs and 57.8% in sales of hybrid vehicles 1
http://www.portalsamorzadowy.pl/gospodarka-komunalna/pierwszy-milion-aut-elektrycznych-w-ue-w-2018-roku,97572.html – last accessed on 14.02.2018.
. Having said that, only around 0.1% of Polish citizens own an alternative fuel vehicle and only 12.4% are considering buying one 2
http://www.orpa.pl/polacy-slyszeli-o-pojazdach-niskoemisyjnych-lecz-tylko-nieliczni-rozwazali-zakup/ - last accessed on 14.02.2018.
.

Nevertheless, in its Electromobility Development Plan adopted in September 2016, the Ministry of Energy proposed an ambitious target – it wishes to see 1 million EVs on Polish roads by the end of 2025. The Ministry plans to create an incentives scheme in order to promote EVs to this level.

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

The Polish authorities recently adopted the Act of 11 January 2018 on Electromobility and Alternative Fuels (“the Act”), which transposes Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. The Act provides a number of measures to facilitate e-mobility and establishes a framework for building a basic alternative fuels infrastructure (including electric energy, LNG, CNG and hydrogen). The Act is the first step into the full regulation of EVs in Poland, as it constitutes the only existing piece of binding legislation to date.

3. What measures promote EVs in your jurisdiction?

  • Administrative facilities – building permits are not required for charging stations and charging points. The Act exempts providers from the obligation to obtain a licence for trade in electricity in the case of charging services.
  • Tax benefits – excise exemption for EVs and hydrogen-powered vehicles; temporary excise exemption for hybrid vehicles (until 1 January 2021); depreciation write-offs will be more favourable for electric vehicles versus regular cars for natural and legal persons.
  • Parking spaces – dedicated parking spaces for EVs during charging in metered parking zones.
  • Installation of charging points – the Act sets specific goals to significantly expand the charging infrastructure in the coming years. It indicates a minimum number of charging points in communes that must be installed in charging stations by 31 December 2020 and the measures that local authorities shall undertake if this number is not met (they will prepare a plan to construct charging stations in cooperation with distribution system operators).
  • Clean transport areas – special areas dedicated for EVs, hydrogen vehicles and vehicles that run on CNG and LNG.
  • Bus lanes – EVs will be allowed to drive in bus lanes until 1 January 2026.
  • Exemption for public transport operators – temporary exemption (until 31 December 2028) from charges for driving on domestic roads for zero-emission buses.

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?

  • Government – responsible for the deployment of the Electromobility Development Plan, which was prepared by the Ministry of Energy.
  • Local authorities – play a vital role in developing charging infrastructure. They have a number of tasks including preparing a plan for the construction of charging stations in the local area and establishing clean transport areas.
  • Electricity market participants – electricity generators, suppliers and, most importantly, distribution system operators that play a vital role in developing electromobility in Poland. To help the development of this new business activity in Poland, in its Electromobility Development Plan the Ministry of Energy recommended creating a company that will coordinate research in this area. Consequently, the four main Polish energy groups (PGE, Energa, Enea and Tauron) have established ElectroMobility Poland SA.
  • Charging station operators – entities responsible for the construction, management, security, operation, maintenance and renovation of public charging stations.

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?

  • Legal framework: The Act is the first piece of legislation in respect of electromobility in Poland. Although it provides basic regulations for the development of electromobility, the Ministry of Energy plans to observe the market and update and develop the legal framework governing electromobility.
  • Charging infrastructure: The infrastructure needs to be vastly developed. The Act provides ambitious targets regarding the number of charging points in Poland that are to be installed by 2020 (with the key role of the local authorities to develop the infrastructure when needed, as indicated above). Additionally, the General Directorate for National Roads and Motorways (GDDKiA) in cooperation with distribution system operators will draw up a plan of the locations of public charging stations along TEN-T roads.
  • Financial support: No purchase grants have been established for EVs in the Act yet, which is a big disadvantage, considering that the prices of EVs are still significantly higher than those of combustion-driven vehicles.
  • Education and promotion: In order to develop electromobility it is necessary to promote it and educate about its advantages. This issue is still quite new in Poland, so the Ministry of Energy has set some measures in the Electromobility Development Plan to raise awareness of this topic.
Michal Andruszkiewicz
Michał Andruszkiewicz
Counsel
Poznan
Picture of Piotr Ciolkowski
Piotr Ciolkowski
Partner
Warsaw