After 2030, cars with an internal combustion engine running on petrol or diesel will no longer be eligible for first-time registration in Slovenia; this is because the government’s alternative fuels strategy, which has just been adopted, sets the limit for a car’s total carbon footprint at below 50 g of carbon dioxide (CO2) per kilometre. First registration of cars and light freight vehicles of categories that have a total carbon footprint of less than 100 g of CO2 per kilometre according to the manufacturer’s declaration will also be restricted by 2025. By realising these two key targets, Slovenia is planning to promote an increase in the number of electric vehicles, hybrid vehicles, and vehicles using fossil fuels that have a lower adverse impact on the environment than the vehicles we use today.

Last week the Slovenian government adopted a strategy for development of the market in order to develop appropriate alternative fuels infrastructure in the transport sector. This document will transpose into Slovenian legislation the European Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Directive; under the Directive, this includes electricity, compressed and liquefied natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and biomethane, biofuels, synthetic and paraffin-based fuels and hydrogen.

The Strategy proposes measures for each alternative fuel; a detailed action plan for the 2018–2020 period will be drawn up on the basis of these measures in the next six months. Priority will be given to measures that establish a suitable charging infrastructure for electric vehicles and for vehicles using compressed and liquefied natural gas; this will enable the government to promote the purchase of vehicles that run on alternative fuels. Measures are envisaged for all areas, from financial incentives, co-financing of the construction of alternative fuels infrastructure and amendments to legislation, to the promotion of innovative solutions, the acceleration of economic development, public information and the removal of administrative barriers. Financial incentives for the purchase of electric and connected hybrid vehicles, exemption from the payment of certain duties for electric vehicles, free parking, etc. will certainly remain part of these measures.

By adopting the Strategy, Slovenia has set itself ambitious targets. With the constant strong increase in traffic, measures must be taken to secure a 9% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions in traffic by 2030 relative to 2020. This therefore means an increase in emissions of 18% relative to 2005, however, one should take into account the fact that traffic on some sections has doubled since 2005 and that freight transport is projected to grow by between 60 and 80% by 2030. Car traffic is projected to increase by 30%.

Therefore, if Slovenia is to achieve its alternative fuels targets by 2030, it has to ensure that at least 17% of the cars travelling on its roads are electric or connected hybrid vehicles (200,000 vehicles), 12% of light freight vehicles are electric (11,000 vehicles), a third of all buses run on compressed natural gas (1,150 buses) and almost 12% of heavy freight vehicles (just over 4,300 vehicles) run on liquefied natural gas. As the number of vehicles running on alternative fuels will increase, the number of charging and filling stations will have to be increased, on motorways and elsewhere.

High-powered e-chargers already available on motorways

Slovenia is one of the first countries in Europe to have established high-powered e-chargers on its motorway network. This network will be expanded over the next five years, enabling Slovenia to ensure sufficient coverage of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) with chargers. With the projected growth in traffic, Slovenia will require 1,200 chargers of ordinary power for domestic transport by 2020, rising to 7,000 by 2025 and over 22,000 by 2030. Alongside this, all ships arriving at the Port of Koper will have to be supplied with electricity and liquefied natural gas from land by 2025. The use of biodiesel will have to be increased significantly if the environmental targets are to be achieved.

Pedestrian and cycle transport must be promoted in built-up areas in order to reduce the environmental impact of traffic as much as possible; in parallel with this, public transport must be made more competitive. The recently adopted Strategy takes account of the fact that it is difficult to replace car use with public transport in many parts of Slovenia because of the dispersed nature of settlement. Slovenia will therefore have to be even more ambitious in its introduction of alternative transport fuels to ensure that the mobility that will have to continue to be provided by cars pollutes the environment as little as possible.

Original source: Government of Republic of Slovenia