On the 5th of February 2018, the President of the Republic of Poland signed the Act on Electromobility and Alternative Fuels (“Act”). The Act is the first set of rules in Poland that pertain to the issue of electromobility, and is intended to promote electromobility and alternative fuel vehicles. The Act transposes Directive 2014/94/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure.
The Act defines basic terms such as charging point, charging station, electric vehicle and alternative fuels. Most importantly, it establishes a framework for building a basic alternative fuels infrastructure (including electric energy, LNG, CNG and hydrogen). The Polish legislator included vital administrative benefits for the development of such infrastructure. According to the provisions of the Act, a building permit will not be required in the case of charging stations or charging points. Likewise, the Act sets forth that the charging of electric vehicles should not be regarded as a sale of electric energy within the meaning of the Energy Law and, consequently, licences for the sale of electric energy will not be required.
The Act also provides a number of tax measures to facilitate e-mobility. Firstly, excise exemptions for electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered vehicles will be introduced as well as a temporary excise exemption for hybrid vehicles (up to 1 January 2021). Secondly, the Act provides that depreciation write-offs will be more favourable for electric vehicles versus regular cars, for natural and legal persons.
Role of the local authorities
Under the Act, local authorities will play a vital role in the development of electromobility in Poland. Local units may obtain subsidies for the construction of the charging infrastructure for public transport and charging stations for electric vehicles that are used by the local authorities.
If the planned minimum amount of charging points in charging stations is not installed by 31 December 2020, as indicated in the Act, the local authorities will prepare a plan for the construction of the charging stations for the commune. The plan should establish the number and location of charging stations with the planned number of charging points, as well as the proposed schedule for the construction of the charging stations.
Moreover, the Polish legislator included regulations aiming to prevent air pollution. According to the Act, a city council may establish clean transport areas exclusively for electric vehicles, hydrogen-powered vehicles and vehicles that run on CNG and LNG.
As regards existing installations, entities operating charging stations and points in use on the date of entry into force of the Act will have to adapt to the provisions of the Act within one year from the entry into force of the executive regulations set by the Minister of Energy. Additionally, these entities will be obliged to submit an application to the Technical Supervision Office in order to obtain permission for further operation of these installations.
The Ministry of Energy, which prepared the draft Act, is now preparing the executive regulations to the Act. Also, it will observe the market in order to introduce, if necessary, new regulations to make electromobility as innovative and environmental friendly as possible.