Published on October 19th, 2016 | by Zachary Shahan0
Only Electric Vehicles In Polish City Centers?
October 19th, 2016 by Zachary Shahan
It’s certainly not a law yet, but a Polish newspaper has reported that the Ministry of Energy wants to introduce “low-emissions zones” in cities where only electric vehicles could enter.
This would be an obvious solution to the dirty air that is all too common in Polish (and other European) cities — and by “dirty,” of course, we mean air that kills people prematurely and causes horrible cancers and heart disease.
Encouraging electric vehicle (EV) adoption and creating EV-only zones is actually one of the easiest things governments could do. EVs offer a huge boost to most economies, cutting oil imports from foreign countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Russia, Nigeria, Libya, etc.
The new Polish proposal was recently published in what is translated as the “National policy of infrastructure development of alternative fuels.”
Will Poland actually create some low-emissions zones that only permit EVs? As with any political proposals, it’s hard to know. The current Polish government — despite being something akin to the Tea Party in the US — has quite a lot of interest in EVs and has been pushing some lofty goals for a country with a tiny numbers of EVs so far.
Presumably, the push is all about boosting the market for utilities and coal companies; and burning more coal would obviously limit the air, health, and climate benefits that EVs offer. However, it’s important to remember that electric transport is a critical component of any serious plan to stop global warming, and cleaning up the electricity generation side of things is a distinctly different solution that needs to be implemented. Even if the PiS party (pronounced “peace,” not “piss”) does make some progress stimulating greater EV adoption, hopefully it is also kicked out in the next election in order to get renewable energy growth on track (the party has all but killed the wind energy market here in Poland, and it isn’t keen on helping the solar industry to finally sprout either).
It would be interesting and inspiring if Poland became a clear European leader on EV promotion — as previously reported, several cities are pioneering electric carsharing programs and offering free EV charging. Additionally, there has been a push to manufacturer EVs here, and LG Chem is opening its 4th EV battery factory just outside of my city (Wrocław), a 1.3 billion złoty investment that will help LG Chem produce the batteries for several EV models from companies such as Renault, GM, Opel, Nissan, and Volkswagen.
h/t Jakub Stechly