Russia’s prime minister is demanding that all gas station owners in the nation install an electric vehicle charger by late next year. The mandate is a strange attempt to boost the sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in a country with a suffering oil industry, but even with its flaws, it represents a good example for other nations. If you build it, will they in fact come and plug in their electric cars?
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev issued the mandate, requiring all gas stations in Russia to install an EV charger. Gas stations have until November 1, 2016 to complete the task, and it’s not entirely certain what will happen to gas station owners who fail to meet the demand. The requirement also doesn’t specify what type of charger, so it’s likely that business owners will opt for the cheapest model. Basic EV chargers start around $1,480 before installation, but a model like that would take almost nine hours to charge a single car battery, so it seems unlikely that EV owners will be super excited to charge up at their local gas station.
The push to support electric vehicles may seem sudden, but it’s been a long time coming as falling energy prices have hampered Russia’s oil industry. The country’s leaders are hoping that abundant infrastructure will encourage more citizens to buy electric vehicles. Currently, there are only around 500 EVs in all of Russia, so some may think this move is putting the electric vehicle in front of the horse, so to speak.