The Visegrad Four Are Stepping Up Their Game In The EV Evolution
As you may know, Eastern European countries tend to lack a bit behind when it comes to the development of electric vehicles. However, things are changing: measurements have been taken to level with the other countries.
Dependent On Automotive Industry
The Eastern European countries depend on the automotive industry. In Slovakia, for instance, it is good for 12% of its GDP, and even 44% of the total industrial production. Due to some heavy changes in the landscape, among them the change from combustion engines to electric and the fact that some big manufacturers are changing strategy, the Slovakian government had to adapt.
The Visegrad Four Are Making Plans
Not only Slovakia has to adapt, also the other countries in the Visegrad Group (V4) – Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary – are making serious changes. Poland, at the moment, is building its own electric car factory for instance and aiming to have one million EVs on the road by 2025. Hungary is at pole position in comparison to the other three when it comes to the market share of EVs: 1.5%, which still doesn’t sound like much, but in comparison to the EU’s 2.0%, it’s not half bad. Lastly, the Czech Republic is also building its own EV factories and are hoping to attract a Tesla mega-factory.
Production Comes To Live
As said, Poland is investing big time into EV-batteries with their own factories. But they also get help from abroad: Korean company LG is planting a $500mln factory in Poland with room for over 2.000 employees.
The Czech Republic has of course the Skoda, which already electrifying. Apart from that, the country is hoping to attract big players in the EV industry to build their factories there. Moreover, the Czech Republic has built its very own EV-battery factory.
Obstacles On The Road
Although those plans sound amazing, there are still some problems that stand in the way of making this an actual success. One of the biggest factors is the lack of a charging infrastructure. Slovakia, for instance has only 200 loading docks for its 1.700 Plug-in hybrids and EVs. Although Hungary is doing relatively well, it still only has 1.562 docks for its cars. That may be enough for now, but is they are really planning for the EV to be the sustainable solution for their mobility problems, they should definitely step up their game.
Moreover, now the V4 is becoming economically more successful, the countries start to become more expensive. That is visible in the retreat of Volkswagen – who had many assembly lines set up in Slovakia. The company is looking to move them elsewhere, such as Bulgaria, and Serbia.
Success Will Come
Despite of some of the obstacles, the V4 seem to be improving when it comes electric mobility. They still have a long way to go, but improvements are being made. The V4 are already a very important trading partner for Germany and it has big assembly line for Jaguar Land Rover, so the switch to electric should be possible, yet mandatory.