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News 05 Apr 16

Romania Offers Incentives to ‘Greener’ Car Buyers

Romania’s government is to offer a financial incentive package to buyers of electric and hybrid cars in an effort aimed at curbing pollution.

Cristina Bucureasa
BIRN
Bucharest
Romania aims to boost the sales of electric cars | Photo: mondonews.ro

In a bid to boost sluggish sales in the country, the Romanian government is to announce a 16.6-million-euro programme of incentives to encourage people to buy new electric and hybrid cars. 

The money is to be offered as a subsidy to companies or individuals who purchase an electric car or a hybrid vehicle that produce fewer than 50 grammes per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions.

“Romania, like any other EU country, should begin the transition towards electric or hybrid vehicles… not only because this is the global trend, but mainly because we have a climate change problem,” Environment Minister Cristiana Pasca Palmer said recently.

Only 495 such cars were sold last year, according to data from the Automotive Manufacturers and Importers Association, APIA. This was more than double the 236 sold in 2014.

EU statistics show that Romania is last in the EU in terms of buying more environmentally friendly vehicles. 

People in the industry hope the new incentives will stimulate people to buy electric cars. 

“Everywhere across the world, sales of electric cars flourished when the authorities offered financial assistance or facilities to buyers,” said BMW Romania’s communications manager Alexandru Seremet. 

“Norway, the Netherlands or even California are only a few of these successful examples. Romanian authorities have done almost nothing yet in this regard,” Seremet added.

He argued that government subsidies are necessary because the prices for new technology are still high. 

Currently, the price of a mid-range electric car can be above 30,000 euros, much more than the average Romanian would be willing to pay, analysts say. 

The infrastructure to support electric cars is also a problem in Romania.

“There are only a few dozen charging stations across the country,” said Cristian Cojocaru from the online car classifieds website Autovit.ro. 

The first recharging point for electric cars in Romania opened in 2011. 

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