As I noted yesterday, getting ready for our big EV charging conference in Warsaw in a few weeks, I’ve been interviewing EV charging leaders who will be giving presentations, participating in roundtable discussions, and contributing to our white paper on EV charging guidelines for cities.
In this article, I chat with Lena Artemenko, CEO of Tesla Club Ukraine. As you may have noticed, my interview yesterday morning was with Lyubov Artemenko, Strategic Planning Director of Tesla Club Ukraine, and Nazar Shymone-Davyda, owner of Tesla Club Ukraine — there’s a relationship or three here. But I wanted to get various responses on matters close to their work and wanted to separate some governmental and cultural questions from technical ones related to the Go To-U charging network, where Lyubov and Nazar are COO and CEO, respectively.
1. What do you see as the 3 city policies that are most effective for stimulating quicker EV adoption?
Here, I agree with Lyubov and Nazar. Plus, the city can also motivate developers to install chargers and think ahead about coming demand from EV drivers. We know that majority charge their cars home during the night, if they have that option.
2. Ukraine has had abnormally fast growth in electric car adoption. This is especially surprising since it’s not a rich nation like other leading EV adopters — Norway, Sweden, the Netherlands, etc. What is going on in Ukraine that electric cars have become a big deal faster than in almost all other countries?
Ideas change the world 😉 In addition to the previous answers, I can also mention the role of Tesla Club Ukraine on the local and national level. We did a lot to enhance the cooperation with both city municipalities and, for example, the Ministry of the Infrastructure. As an example, just two weeks ago, Tesla Club Ukraine was invited to present solutions for infrastructure development during the Global Fuel Economy Initiative launch.
3. Cutting oil dependence and air pollution are such great benefits of electric cars practically everywhere in the world that it’s a wonder to me why this isn’t better understood, resulting in strong city policies and consumer adoption. Do you think concern about oil dependence and air pollution is greater in Ukraine than other countries? If so, what is behind that greater awareness and concern?
… and noise pollution!
Unfortunately, I believe there are many people who are still not aware of the great benefits of EVs. That is why promotion is so important.
We held a number of education projects, working not only with potential EV buyers, but also young generations, kids, the ones who have the right to the clean air. We explained how EVs work, why they are different.
We often invite people for open discussions or films screenings (like Before the Flood) to raise awareness and promote an environmentally conscious life.
4. Western EV charging companies have largely ignored countries in Eastern Europe. Do you think that completely opens up the opportunity for homegrown EV charging leaders to grow large businesses and lock the Western companies out of these markets? Or do you think the Western companies can still come in later and take a sizable chunk of the EV charging market?
Well, they did not completely ignore Eastern Europe. Let’s say there are peculiarities in these markets, which is important to understand. It takes some time.
But do you remember how many Western EV charging companies were operating on the Polish market a year ago? And two years ago? Even though it is an EU market. … EV adoption is just entering the S curve, so many processes are developing naturally.
[Editor’s note: We have essentially no Western charging companies in Poland, so I’m actually including any country west of Germany in this market categorization. The question I posed to Lena goes for the Polish market as well, and the Czech market, and Slovakian, etc. These are certainly topics we’ll dive into further in Warsaw in a couple of weeks.]
5. I’m sure you’ve thought a lot about a potential electric robotaxi future. Assuming robotaxis do hit the market sometime between now and 2030, how do you expect that will affect EV use and EV charging infrastructure?
We are big enthusiasts of AI development. But for many countries, it is still impossible to use Tesla’s Autopilot driving regime. Simply because infrastructure is not ready. Yet.
Robotaxis will have much bigger implications: technological, economic, and social. Thus, believe me, EV infrastructure is not the biggest concern in this case.