Kremlin wants to boost share of electric cars on Russian roads to 15%

While the chance of seeing an electric car on Russian roads is currently small, the Russian government intends to increase the share of “green” vehicles by investing in corresponding technologies and developing necessary infrastructure.

Russia plans to invest a total of 777 billion rubles ($10,5 billion) in the development of battery and hydrogen vehicles by 2030, reports The Ministry of Economic Development aims to increase the share of electric vehicles (EVs) from the current 0,05% of all vehicles registered in Russia to 15%, which means that by 2030, there could be 1,5 million EVs on Russian roads.

First, the government announced a $5,5-billion plan to invest in EV development at the end of May, but later, media sources claimed there was an updated version with $10,5 billion set for investment. Of this sum, $1,7 billion would flow into the development of fuel cell and hydrogen technologies. However, the exact form of the funding programme is still unclear and will only be known when the government officially presents the plan.

These efforts are all the more important because Russia’s EV market is currently lagging far behind developed countries. In 2019, only 353 electric vehicles were sold in Russia, followed by 687 in 2020. In 2022, the share of electric vehicles in the Russian car market is expected to reach 1,7%, which is almost 30 times more than in 2020 but still not quite an impressive figure. According to President Putin’s Climate Adviser Ruslan Edelgeriev, in the next 20-30 years, everyone will switch to electric vehicles. “Leading automakers, globally and in Russia, are announcing new electric vehicle lines. A lot of them plan to stop making internal combustion engine cars by 2030,” he said.

On 18 June, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak specified the country’s plans for charging stations. “In general, the goal is more serious and ambitious both by 2024 and by 2030. By 2024, we need 11,000 [...] stations in the country, and by 2030 — already 50,000,” said the minister during a visit to Nizhny Novgorod Oblast adding that ministries of industry, transport and energy were working on the details of the programme.

Meanwhile, Moscow plans to fully electrify the city’s public bus fleet by 2030, and KAMAZ has already launched an electric bus production facility in the capital. There is also a plan for the Russian-made electric car, Zetta, to enter production, but the timeline for the vehicle has been pushed back further and further.

By Anna Litvina