GOMEL, 15 December (BelTA) – Belarus' chain of fast charging stations for electric vehicles is the largest one in the Eurasian Economic Union, the press service of the Belarusian industrial group Belorusneft told BelTA.
The development of the electric vehicle charging infrastructure began with the presidential decree, which named Belorusneft the state operator. The head of state pays close attention to the matter of electric vehicles. Belarus' backbone chain of fast EV charging stations is the largest one in the Eurasian Economic Union and enables electric vehicles to freely travel across the country. Charging stations with the output capacity of 180kW are also installed on the main motorways. They can provide a charge sufficient for travelling for 100km after only six minutes of charging.
Since 2018 the EV charging stations chain has increased from 14 stations to 486. The number of charging stations is supposed to exceed 600 by the end of 2021. According to Belorusneft, it will be enough for a fleet of over 25,000 electric vehicles.
Belarus now boasts the most developed chain of charging stations in the Commonwealth of Independent States. The fact demonstrates capabilities of the Belarusian production sector. The main supplier of charging stations is the Belarusian company Vityas. The company also operates a chain of charging stations. A number of slow charging stations are also available in car parks where vehicles stay for at least four hours, Belorusneft specified.
There were over 1,000 electric vehicles in Belarus as of early 2021. The number exceeds 4,000 at present. Experts and international analytical agencies believe that the number of electric vehicles in Belarus may approach 100,000 by 2025. The share of electric vehicles in Belarus may be close to 20% by 2030.
The number of electric vehicles grows across the globe. Electric vehicles represented every tenth vehicle sold in the world in November 2021. The European Union intends to prohibit sales of vehicles with internal combustion engines by 2035. Top automakers are adjusting their product range: the share of electric vehicles will exceed 50% by 2030.
Belorusneft's EV charging stations chain Malanka caters to over 2,880 active users. Malanka's electricity rates reduce the cost of travelling for 100km in an electric vehicle by more than three times in comparison with conventional cars. The volume of sales increased by six times over one year. The consumption of electricity can rise by 25% per month.
The growing capacity of accumulators and faster vehicle charging are global trends. It prompts Belorusneft to realize a number of pilot projects in 2022 in order to install superfast charging stations with the output capacity of 350kW. The Belarusian company BKM Holding can supply the equipment. The company actively introduces electric mobility in the country, in particular, electric buses. A pilot project will include a superfast EV charging option (+340km after ten minutes) and the ability to charge electric city buses.
The pilot project offers a vision of the future. In 2-3 years owners of electric vehicles will be able to spend as little time at a charging station as owners of internal combustion engine cars do at a refueling station. Electric cars will be made in Belarus, too. SZAO BelGee intends to make Geely Geometry C cars. A new revision of the presidential decree on stimulating domestic EV production prompted it. For instance, the decree waives VAT for corporations that sell electric vehicles, Belorusneft explained.
Electric transport and EV charging infrastructure is a vector of Belarus' strategic development and a way to use up the electricity generated by the Belarusian nuclear power plant. If all the road vehicles are converted to electricity, they will consume 14 billion kWh per annum while the Belarusian nuclear power plant can generate 18 billion kWh per annum. The number of electric vehicles is expected to rise to 100,000 in Belarus by 2025. They will consume 500 million kWh per annum. As many as 600,000 electric vehicles are expected to consume 3 billion kWh per annum in 2030.
The rollout of EV charging stations by Belorusneft also encourages energy companies to build infrastructure with a capacity sufficient for charging electric vehicles. As a rule, such capacities were not available along most roads, including in towns. There was no need for that, Belorusneft said. The expansion and buildup of the power grid is a number one priority. The deployment of 350kW superfast EV charging stations is only the beginning. Bigger capacities will be needed later on. The number of electric trucks and electric public transport vehicles is rising. They will need charging stations with the capacity of up to 1MW. The electricity consumption of 7-8 such stations can be compared to the consumption of an entire factory, Belorusneft noted.
The fulfillment of the head of state's instructions to develop the electric charging infrastructure will allow forming new technological approaches in the Belarusian production sector and securing Belarus' position as a leader of infrastructure projects of the future among the Eurasian Economic Union member states. The accumulated experience will contribute to the advancement of international cooperation, Belorusneft believes.