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EV Market Profile: Ukraine

by Stephen Fogel

The electric vehicle (EV) market in Ukraine is strong, vibrant, and growing. The Ukranians’ unique approach to building a major EV presence in their country is ingenious and admirable.

Most Popular EVs In Ukraine

These are currently the most popular electric vehicles in Ukraine, along with the number of each that were sold there in 2017:

  • Nissan Leaf – 2,219
  • BMW i3 – 107
  • Tesla Model S – 73
  • Ford Focus Electric – 59
  • Fiat 500e – 39

Only 15 percent of these vehicles were sold new. The rest were used EVs, imported by local EV clubs from the USA. Used EVs are much more affordable for the average Ukrainian buyer, as per capita GDP there is only US$4,000. Even so, Ukranian EV sales hit 4.5 percent of total vehicle sales in 2017 – good for a fifth-place ranking worldwide!

The grass-roots support for building up Ukraine’s EV fleet comes partly from the growth of an EV lifestyle movement. But it is also a byproduct of the existential threat posed by Putin’s Russia. Not only does Russia represent the monopolistic energy threat of Big Oil, but the Russians are also occupying the eastern part of the Ukranians’ country. A growing Ukrainian EV fleet promises eventual independence from the foreign oil produced by its primary aggressor.

Tax Breaks For EVs Sold In Ukraine In 2018

To boost EV sales in the country, the Ukrainian Government has waived the 20 percent VAT, as well as the excise tax on imported EVs, for calendar year 2018.

Availability Of Electric Vehicles In Ukraine

Some electric vehicles are available directly through auto dealers in Ukraine. Others must be imported from outside the country. Here is a list:

Nissan Leaf: Not sold by Nissan dealers in Ukraine, must be imported.

BMW i3: Appears on BMW Ukraine website, likely for sale.

Tesla Model S: No Tesla sales or service centers currently in Ukraine, must be imported. There are no Superchargers in Ukraine at this time, but two are coming soon: one in Zhtomyr, and one in Oparypsy.

Ford Focus Electric: Not sold by Ford dealers in Ukraine, must be imported.

Fiat 500e: Not sold by Fiat dealers in Ukraine, must be imported.

Hyundai Ioniq Electric: Available through Ukraine Hyundai dealers in limited quantities.

Renault ZOE and Kangoo ZE: Sales started in fall of 2017, through three Renault dealers located in Kiev, Lviv, and Odessa.

Most of the EVs in Ukraine are found in and around the largest cities: Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa, and Dnipro.

Ukraine Has Some Infrastructure Issues

Ukraine has over 600 charging stations, but many do not meet European standards. About a third of the chargers do not work properly. But there have been recent efforts to build out a reliable and functional network. The local business community has sponsored and supported these efforts, and they are bearing fruit. Charging stations have appeared at many gas stations and malls, as well as hotels and restaurants.

In addition, the vast majority of the country’s electricity comes from nuclear, which keeps costs low and minimizes greenhouse gas emissions.

Ukraine Has Its EV Act Together

Ukraine is a poor country with many problems, but their citizens have found a unique and practical way to grow their EV fleet, along with the infrastructure to support it. Keep an eye on Ukraine – they know how to build an EV-friendly society!

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