The Russian auto market is struggling recently, and falling energy prices aren't helping the country's oil industry, either. With the economy looking somewhat uncertain, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev is taking a baby step toward a greener future by mandating every gas station in the country have an electric vehicle charger by November 1, 2016. The rule is meant to boost Russia's dismal EV segment that currently numbers a grand total of about 500 vehicles across the vast territory, according to Autostat data cited by The Moscow Times.
Unfortunately, while this mandate is trying to overturn the status quo, it already looks easy to circumvent. A major problem is that the new rules don't specify the type of charger to install, and the government isn't offering any financial assistance to gas station owners. Therefore, they're expected to take the cheapest option to satisfy the law. According to The Moscow Times, the least expensive charging equipment costs the equivalent of $1,480 to import before installation expenses. However, a site like this would take nine hours to fully power-up an EV.
"We believe that the new decree could stimulate business," Yelena Burenina, a spokesperson for the Moscow United Electric Grid Company, said to The Moscow Times. Although, at this point practically anything would be an advancement. Just 140 EVs were sold in Russia last year and fewer than 50 in the first half of 2015.
Russia's frigid winters are considered a major hurdle for EV adoption because the low temperatures cut back their total range. Somehow, though, chilly Norway is figuring out how to make green cars sell.