Romania doubles funding for EV subsidies

16 July 2019

16 July 2019

The Romanian Environment Ministry has doubled the funding for the Rabla Plus programme, which offers subsidies for the purchase of electric vehicles (EVs).

Starting on Monday 15 July, an additional RON 15 million (€3.2 million) has been made available to offer incentives for both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). The Rabla Plus scheme was initially funded with RON 15 million (€3.2 million), but this was ′fully used in about three months after its launch’ according to

BEVs are entitled to an incentive of RON 45,000 (€9,500) and PHEVs benefit from a RON 20,000 (€4,200) subsidy.

In the first five months of 2019, total EV sales (BEVs, PHEVs and standard hybrids (HEVs) combined) in Romania increased by almost 70% compared to the same period in 2018, with 2,285 units sold, according to the Association of Automobile Manufacturers and Importers (APIA).

The market share of EVs has increased to 3.4%, up from 2.3% in the first five months of 2018, but this remains low by European standards. To put this into perspective, EVs gained a 7% share of new car registrations in the European Union, according to the European Automobile Manufacturers Association, ACEA.

Lack of infrastructure

Ulmis Horchidan, Chief Editor of Eurotax in Romania, sees constant growth in demand for EVs as ′the available offer, in terms of new hybrid models, gets bigger by the day as more and more producers have hybrids in their line-up. Also, the 20.000 RON voucher comes in handy.’

In 2018, the Environment Ministry announced a plan to support the creation of a country-wide network of 20,000 charging stations by 2020, ‘but we don’t see anywhere near that figure available nowadays,’ Horchidan commented.

′Although the above-mentioned sum is an impressive amount, the ground truth is that the biggest show-stopper in terms of sales figures is the lack of infrastructure. Sticking plaster solutions like two charging stations in this mall and two others in Ikea’s parking lot, which, even worse, are often used as parking spaces for ICE [internal combustion engine] powered vehicles do not encourage buyers towards electrics.’

While constant growth is predicted, ′in terms of units sold, those are going to be low at least for the near future for multiple reasons,’ Horchidan concluded.