No more ‘fastest finger’: incentives for the purchase of e-vehicles according to new rules as of June 1

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Incentives for the purchase of e-vehicles are among the most important factors for numerous potential buyers of such vehicles, and from this year the method of allocation is finally changing as well as the budget amount intended for buyers. The new competition which will be announced on June 1, 2021, will enable both private and legal persons to purchase a considerably larger number of all-electric vehicles.

Last year the budget for the procurement of energy-efficient vehicles amounted to 44 million HRK, of which 22 million was earmarked for citizens and 22 million for companies. However, this year the amount available for the purchase of all-electric vehicles is almost three times higher, namely, 105 million HRK, of which 15 million is intended for public bodies which prior to purchase have to announce a competition, and 90 million HRK earmarked for citizens and legal entities.

Owing to Siniša Kukić, the director of the Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency (FZOEU), who took over the post last year and immediately initiated changes, we will no longer witness the ‘fastest finger’ method and a large percentage of unused funds. That was precisely the way incentives were awarded up to now in which all the funds were allocated in only a few minutes and numerous buyers were left without their assets. Kukić brought together all the relevant entities, asked for their opinions, and came up with a solution to the problem that has existed for a number of years.

“We are exceptionally pleased that the new director of the Fund, Siniša Kukić listened to our comments and completely restructured the competition. With these changes the purchase of electric vehicles has become significantly simpler so my suggestion to potential buyers, if they are interested in buying an e-vehicle, to do so this year, as I believe that the individual amount of the incentive will decrease in view of the increased interest. This year the supply of vehicles is exceptionally large,  the selection offered by car dealerships exceed 30 models so if you plan to buy a vehicle, buy an electric one and not something that you will not be able to sell in five years”, Hrvoje Prpić, chairman of the Strujni Krug Association pointed out.

In May, sales representatives will have to register all their retail outlets and available models of e-vehicles that can be delivered within nine months of the announced car purchase.  On the other hand, in the month of June citizens and legal entities will apply to the competition exclusively at the retail outlets in the Republic of Croatia and if they wish to obtain the incentive they will have to pay the down payment for the selected vehicle.  This will secure that a large amount of funds does not remain unused once more. This year the proceeds will be such that the seller will enter the basic data on the buyers and fill out the necessary documentation after which the Fund will issue a certificate with instructions on the down payment. After that, an automatic reservation of the funds will be made and the down payment will have to be paid within a period of seven days. All the data will be publicly posted on the website of FZOEU which will also contain a list of all the retail outlets where the e-vehicles can be bought.

In case the vehicle is not delivered due to technical problems of the sales representatives or if the documentation does not pass the competition the buyers will be refunded. Although the sellers will fill out the documentation for the buyers, the incentives will be paid exclusively to the buyers, so the buyer must have the full amount of the vehicle’s value while the incentive will be paid only after the delivery and registration of the vehicle.

The vehicle categories and incentive amounts remain unchanged, For category M1 and N1 electric vehicles or hydrogen vehicles (for the transport of passengers up to 8 seats and utility vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes) 70.000 HRK is provided, or up to 40 percent of the vehicle’s value, while 40.000 HRK  is provided for plug-in hybrid vehicles. For e-vehicles in categories L1- L7  (motor scooters, motorcycles with two, three, or four wheels) 20.000 HRK is provided or up to 40 percent of their value. Category N2, N3, M2, M3 vehicles (for the transport of passengers or utility vehicles up to or more than tonnes) with an electric plug-in hybrid, SPP, UPP, or hydrogen drives are also co-financed with up to a maximum of 400.000HRK.

While citizens will be able to buy one vehicle with the incentive, legal entities will be able to get incentives for a larger number of e-vehicles and use a maximum of 400 thousand HRK  of incentives and at the most two applications per legal entity. Meaning that legal entities will be able to buy only two car models and if they wish a larger number of the same vehicle the condition is that the co-financed vehicles be kept in their ownership for at least two years after the purchase. Just like in the course of the last few years, the incentives will not apply when purchasing a vehicle on the basis of operative leasing but only financial leasing.

FZOEU will post on its website the list of all retail outlets and all models of e-vehicles that can be purchased, but without prices and characteristics. The list of vehicles with prices and specifications can be found in one place on the website of the Association of e-vehicle drivers Strujni Krug which provides substantial additional savings to its members when purchasing an all-electric vehicle. Strujni Krug is in partnership with the majority of e- vehicle sales representatives and offers purchase discounts in the amounts of five to over 100 thousand HRK, depending on the price of the vehicle. The discount on an average electric vehicle for members of Strujni Krug is between 20 and 40 thousand HRK so last year a large number of buyers saved, in addition to the incentive, more than 100 HRK. The Strujni Krug Association also provides discounts on obligatory and all-risk insurance for its members, lower interest rates on leasing purchases, and a number of other benefits. The annual membership fee to the Association is 200 HRK for private and 2000 HRK for legal entities.

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