Infrastructure / Innovations 22 September, 2017 10:30 am   
COMMENTS: Agata Rzędowska

Rzędowska: Electromobility running on hydrocarbons…?

First we need to take a small dose of condensed knowledge and theory important from the perspective of what I want to write about. The Oxford Dictionary offers the following definition of an electric car: „A motor car powered by an electric motor rather than an internal-combustion engine.” The same dictionary says that the popular EV acronym stands for ‘electric vehicle’ (= a vehicle that uses one or more electric motors)” – writes Agata Rzędowska, editor at  

Everything seems plain and simple: an electric car has an electric motor, a “traditional” car has an internal-combustion engine. However, in order to confuse things someone came up with hybrid cars of which there are two kinds: regular (they recover energy thanks to regenerative breaking), but mostly drive thanks to an internal-combustion engine and plug-in cars, which have a battery that can be charged from an external source, e.g. a charger, they recover energy through regenerative breaking and can have both an electric or an internal-combustion engine.

Acronyms such as HEV – Hybrid Electric Vehicle, BEV – Battery Electric Vehicle, PHEV – Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, FCEV – Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle may utterly confuse a layman. On the other hand, why would a layman need definitions, we should leave such details to specialists, e.g. those who write the law.

So, the goal of the longish introduction was to show the Reader the Polish definition of an electric car in the draft bill on electromobility and alternative fuels.

The draft available at says the following:

“11) an electric car – a motor vehicle in the understanding of art. 2 p. 33 of the Traffic Law Act from 20 June 1997:

a) has a combustion and electric drive with inbuilt batteries, or

b) uses electrical energy for propulsion

-in which electrical energy is accumulated through a connection with an external charging source;”

Everything seems clear: a) it is a hybrid (HEV), b) it is an electric vehicle (BEV, FCEV). However, the further we go, the more complicated things become because the draft includes a percentage breakdown that determines how the electric car fleet should be developed in the administration:

“Art. 64. 1. A central public administration institution defined in art. 36 is obliged to ensure that the participation of electric cars in its fleet is:

1) 10% – as of 1 January 2020 r.;

2) 20% – as of 1 January 2023 r.

2. Local authorities defined in art. 33 p. 1, are obliged to make sure that the participation of electric cars in its fleet is at 10% by 1 January 2020.

3. A central public administration institution and local authorities defined in article 37, as of 1 January 2020 will fulfill or delegate the fulfillment of a public task to an entity whose participation of electric cars in the fleet used is at 10 percent at a time when the task is performed.”

But wait a minute, if the 10 or 20 percent will be constituted by HEV then the change will be superficial! Why? Because HEV’s battery enables it to drive only a few kilometers, while BEV is able to drive further, about 30 km. HEVs are indeed quite efficient when it comes to using them daily in a city, e.g. cab drivers like them because thanks to the small battery that is charged during driving they are able to slightly reduce the fuel consumption.

Yes, dear Reader, reduce slightly. BEV is charged with a cord and can move around the city only thanks to the battery and electric engine, which prevent it from generating exhaust fumes.

Soon the results of public consultations will be revealed. The talks pertained to the draft act and lasted until 27 April this year. It is certain that many organizations, law firms, or companies paid attention to the consequences of the regulations included in the draft act on electromobility and alternative fuels. It is worth to follow its future even if one is not a fan of cars because the goal of the final changes is to improve the air quality in cities instead of creating a market for producers of specific vehicles…