While Germany is still discussing whether e-Mobility should be directly promoted, the Hungarian government has set up its own special governmental Jedlik Ányos Plan to further develop e-Mobility in Hungary (the “Plan”). Of note, the Plan has allowed electric cars with green registration numbers to park for free throughout the Budapest area since 1 January 2016.  Also, due to the fact that the national network of the charging stations is still underdeveloped and charging stations are concentrated in the area of Budapest and along the motorway between Budapest and Vienna, the Plan introduces additional rules to accelerate the expansion of the charging spots throughout the country. Most importantly the Plan seeks to lower bureaucratic difficulties and this shall speed up new projects in the sector of e mobility.

These are the new regulations in more detail:

  1. The amendment of the Hungarian Energy Act (Act LXXXVI of 2007 on Electric Energy) introduced definitions for “electric vehicle”, “charging of electric vehicle” and “operator of charging stations”. Under the amendment, the charging of electric vehicles requires a permit issued by the Hungarian Energy and Public Utility Regulatory Authority (“Authority”) unless the charging activities are not aimed at financial gain. As a result, charging electric vehicles through the retailer consumer’s/non-retail user’s own equipment, if such activities are not for profit, does not require an administrative permit thereby lowering administrative burdens of installing charging stations.

Furthermore, the amended energy act exempts the operators of charging stations from the obligations to (i) notify the Authority upon obtaining shares exceeding 5% in any electric energy company, and to (ii) obtain the prior approval of the Authority for outsourcing its activities or for disposition with its fundamental assets.

The amended energy act also authorizes the Government to regulate, via government decree, the following: the rules for electric vehicle charging permits; the rights and obligations of charging station operators; electric vehicle charging; and the legal relationship between charging station operators and users. Such government decree has not yet been adopted.

  1. A new government decree classifies administrative cases related to the instalment of basic charging infrastructure required for the use of electric vehicles as priority cases. This ensures that such administrative proceedings are accelerated and simplified. (Government Decree No. 369/2015 (XII. 2.))
  2. Vehicles with green registration numbers (i.e. purely electric, plug-in vehicles) may park throughout the whole territory of the capital free of charge. (Previously, free parking was only permitted while using charging stations.)

These legislative changes show that the Hungarian decision makers are willing to introduce measures to expand the use of electric vehicles. The coming months will show whether these measures give the right incentives to further develop the grid of e-charging stations.