Purchases of electric vehicles have surged tenfold over the past two years, according to the outlet
Ukraine is experiencing a “surprising boom” in electric vehicles that has seen purchases surge almost tenfold compared to pre-conflict levels, Le Figaro reported on Monday. Tesla vehicles are particularly popular among Ukrainians, the data shows.
At the end of 2021, only 8,541 electric cars were registered in the country, whereas by January 2023 this figure had skyrocketed to 46,830, the outlet said, citing industry data. Despite the ongoing military operations, this “frantic” growth continued last year, as by November the number of EVs had nearly doubled, reaching 83,116, the outlet noted.
“For the first time, we have experienced a significant increase in demand for loans for electric cars, amid a shortage in fuel supplies and rising fuel prices,” Anton Tiutiun, the deputy CEO at Ukraine’s state-run Oschadbank, said.
The risk of power outages amid strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure has not stopped Ukrainians from buying EVs. The country has a fairly well developed public charging network numbering up to 11,000 stations, according to Nissan Motor Ukraine, a figure higher than in the US state of New York and double that of Poland.
“We thought that the export of electric vehicles to Ukraine would stop with the war, and that’s what happened. But, after six months, business was stronger than ever,” said Hans Eric Melin, director of Circular Energy Storage, a UK firm that tracks flows of used batteries worldwide.
Demand is mainly driven by imports of second-hand cars after the Ukrainian government lifted most taxes and customs duties, Le Figaro said, noting that Tesla cars are particularly popular.
Whereas in 2021, Ukrainians bought just 454 Teslas, in 2023 this number surged to over 4,600 units, according to statistics from the country’s automobile association, Ukravtoprom. Two years ago, Ukraine was among the top three destinations for used American EVs sold abroad, behind Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.
However, most of the imported Tesla cars are damaged and were bought through auctions in the US and Canada, according to Le Figaro, which cited automobile expert Ivan Malakhovsky from the online media outlet Wired. According to Malakhovsky, some Ukrainians have turned repairing Teslas into a profitable business, fixing up to 100 vehicles a month.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section