“E-Mobility Progressing Rapidly: The Global Scene and Serbia’s Position in the Electric Drive”

at the "EV Days" at the Novi Sad Fair

The two-day event “EV Days,” which took place for the third time at the Masters Hall of the Novi Sad Fair, provided a new overview of the rapid development of e-mobility worldwide and the challenges it poses both there and in Serbia.

During six panels, experts from the automotive industry, parts and software manufacturing, charger infrastructure, and related services discussed how to accelerate the transition to electric vehicles, automated transportation, and life in “smart cities” in a sustainable manner.

The technology is already here, accessible even to us in Serbia, but it requires a smart, thoughtful, and responsible approach to the problem. The driving force of change will not be citizens and drivers who want to drive electric (and still expensive) vehicles but the business sector, which, through cost-benefit analysis, already knows well the economic and then ecological advantages.

“We are at the end of a period when electric vehicles, like any new technology, are only accepted by premium buyers, i.e., those who love innovation as well as exclusivity and prestige, and can afford to pay for it. A turning point is imminent, which we already see in Serbia, when companies embrace e-mobility because they have the economic basis to use electric vehicles, based on profit and cost calculations. I have examples here, such as courier services and then the ‘Serbian Post,’ and commercial services that have daily deliveries within 200 kilometers, all switching to electric vehicles. Only then do individual citizens come into play, and that will be interesting for us when we get a car under 20,000 euros, or an ‘electric Panda’ from Fiat in Kragujevac,” explained Petar Gavranović, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of “Globos osiguranje” and Vice President of “OMR Group,” at one of the panels.

The technology exists, both for vehicles and accompanying equipment. Representatives of car charger manufacturers and distributors say that fast chargers with power of 360 kilowatts (ABB) and even 400 kilowatts (Origin Charging Technologies) already exist, and the network of home, company, and public chargers is rapidly being built in Serbia.

“The presence of this infrastructure will definitely grow; the network of public chargers on highways is expanding, private chargers are being installed… However, it is equally important that fleet users, as well as public service operators, such as public transport, get involved in e-mobility. In public transport, the data unequivocally show how economically profitable it is, not to mention the ecological benefits of reducing harmful gases, noise, and more,” said Boris Dumnić, the organizer of this event and a professor at the Faculty of Technical Sciences in Novi Sad.

Apolonija Holo, an engineer from the public transport company GSP “Novi Sad,” presented compelling comparative figures on the use of buses from their fleet running on diesel (even the newest generations), compressed natural gas, and electricity.

“We used to spend 65 dinars per kilometer for diesel, 46 dinars for gas, and only 10 dinars for the ‘Solaris’ e-buses we purchased this year.

And our buses travel 60,000 to 80,000 kilometers per year, so you can see how much savings there are, both in money and in reduced pollution. GSP ‘Novi Sad’ increased the number of eco-friendly vehicles in its fleet from 6.3% to 46% over the last four years,” said Holo.

However, technical aspects of electric vehicles, along with price and the extent of the charging network, are not the only things necessary for users of electric vehicles and participants in e-mobility.

“What we are doing within the group today is developing a comprehensive solution for using electric vehicles. We represent top electric vehicle manufacturers, have in our portfolio and offer chargers from a renowned manufacturer, but we realized that we need to offer the user, whether a company or an individual, a complete solution, from vehicle procurement through leasing, insurance, and servicing, to car sharing and enabling vehicle use only when needed. The user does not want to waste energy and time finding all this for themselves,” emphasized Petar Gavranović from “Globos osiguranje” and “OMR Group.”