Russian Prime Minister orders all gas stations to install EV charging stations


Well, that’s one way to get a charging network rolled out in a hurry. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has decreed that all gas stations must be equipped with public EV chargers by November 2016, the Moscow Times reported.

Critics immediately pointed out the incongruity of such a sweeping measure in a country that is currently home to a grand total of about 500 EVs, according to the market research agency Autostat (neighboring Norway has over 50,000).

The Mitsubishi i-MiEV arrived in Russia in 2011, followed by EVs from Tesla, BMW and Nissan. Russian manufacturer AutoVAZ introduced its EL Lada in 2011, but has sold fewer than 50 units so far. And sales are not growing – au contraire, in the first half of this year, they declined 25 percent.

Other than free parking for EVs in Moscow, the Russian government currently offers few incentives for EV purchases. Installing chargers at gas stations makes little sense unless coupled with steps to stimulate demand, Analyst Vladimir Bespalov of VTB Capital pointed out.

The new decree does not specify what type of charger must be installed. The cost to install a basic Level 1 charger starts from 100,000 rubles ($1,480), according to Maxim Osorin, General Director of Revolta Motors, which sells EVs and operates a chain of charging stations around Moscow. A DC fast charger, which is more likely to see some usage, would cost more like 3.5 million rubles ($51,720), said Osorin. However, he does believe that the government’s measure will have a positive effect on the market.

Others are more skeptical. “The issue of electric cars is irrelevant in Russia,” said Autostat head Andrei Toptun. “We have a huge territory and fewer cars than many other countries, so there is simply no need to develop the idea of electric cars on a nationwide scale.”


Source: The Moscow Times
Image: Statsministerens kontor (CC BY-ND 2.0)

  • Collin Burnell

    Clearly 98% of stations who are required to install chargers are going to install Level 1 chargers which no one is going to use. Who wants to sit in a Gas Station for 4 hours???

    Now, if they require Level II and assist in the cost, that might have an impact.

    • Mike

      true, good point. On the other hand it is a big move. Especially for Russia… Its like forcing all fast foods to serve organic lettuce. Will you go to fast food shop to eat lettuce on its own? Didn’t think so, but it will be there on a display, people will see it and start to think about it… And there is the change… Also this will literally scrap all the questions about range anxiety helping EVs sales… once these will be on the roads, the demand will push for more rapid chargers.

      • Robert (Electricman) Weekley

        Even if they installed a 25 kW DC QC – it would be of some serious benefit, but that takes about an hour to fully charge a LEAF Like Vehicle with about 80-85 miles range, and who like to spend an Hour at a Gas Station? Still – it would be a great addition to just Level 2 at such places, and the Real Fast Charging could be placed at Freeway Service Centres and Rest Stops!

  • cw

    The USA needs to do this. Put DC fast chargers at, say, half? 1/3? of gas stations and you can cure most peoples “range anxiety”.

  • olci

    It’s a beginning and the most logical move. Clear, strategic thinking….great.

  • jamcl3

    Collin, I am not aware of general 120 VAC availability in Russia, which is the definition of “Level 1” in SAE J1772. Like Europe, Russia uses 220 to 240 VAC, which is “Level 2” by the J1772 definitions. I do not recall the equivalent IEC 61851-1 document using these “Level” terms.

    • Collin Burnell


  • don baumhefner

    They could also install Tesla destination chargers with help from Elon. I am sure this will be appreciated by the over 300 Tesla owners in Russia.

  • Collin Burnell

    One detail that isn’t mentioned…

    Will EV’s be charged for the electricity? I would assume, yes.

    So then the next question is…

    Is there any ROI for the station owners?

  • Michael Andrech

    With the geopolitical climate of late causing Putin to move ever closer to Fascism, this could well be the first move to re-ignite the domestic auto industry, while keeping Rubles in and Ameribucks out. Perhaps the next move is to announce some sort of rebate or purchase program for the Lada EV, and it will be the Zhiguli of the 21st century. And imagine if Lada were to introduce a factory EV retrofit program/kit for their legacy models such as the millions of Nivas and Fiat-based sedans already out there? Most of those powertrains can physically interchange already, so that would be a no-brainer for Lada as development costs would be minimal. Having owned Ladas, I can say that AutoVAZ (Lada) are geniuses at parts-bin engineering. Their legacy models were VERY well engineered, but generally poorly made.

    If such a bold installation mandate were made here in North America, EV sales would skyrocket. Range anxiety is the only “real” issue preventing widespread adoption, IMO, not including lack of political will to make it happen…

  • Edward Ober

    Putin probably owns the electric company.

  • Chackrit Vesvarut

    excellent order