On the 19th of July we visited the sunny town of Sandanski. The venue for the event was the town council hall, a spacious room which could be accessed right from the street sidewalk – creating the impression of town administration that is readily accessible for the general public.
Our event was attended by some of the most important decisionmakers in Sandanski. Present were the Chairman of the Municipal Council Nikolay Shalamandov, the Secretary Pancho Panchev along with a few other municipal advisors, members of various commissions and representatives from the local business. The Mayor Atanas Stoyanov also turned up briefly to the event and following the presentation our team got in touch with the Chief Architect Stefan Antonov.
In Sandanski, we came upon town administration that has already taken the decision to develop electric mobility but is yet to take the first steps. They shared with us that they were looking for ways to secure funding for two electric vehicles and were closely monitoring what other municipalities were doing in this regard. Our team promised to assist their future efforts with our expertise. This being said, the attendants to this event were well-prepared and had particular questions to ask. They wanted to know what are the requirements for installing public charging stations. A parking place available 24/7 to the public as well three-phase electric power supply capable of generating 22 kWs are the minimum requirements for a public charging stations. They wanted to know what are the benefits of stations which are installed by a charging network operators. We explained to them that charging networks provide maintenance and repair of the chargers, as well as the payment method, whereas these services could be unnecessary effort if individual businesses decide to provide them on their own. Some attendants also wanted to know if it is worth it to for private individuals to install charging stations within their own premises and this depends on how much they travel and how much time do they have for rest. “Schuko plug” charging is, however, enough for most people’s needs. And a few more questions about EV technology and charging infrastructure followed. Our team was pleasantly surprised by the inquisitiveness and the interest that our guests demonstrated.
The high price of EVs was a topic which, understandably, emerged again. We demonstrated, with a simple calculation, that in a 10-year period the cost of owning an EV is not necessarily much higher that owning a similar conventional car, and could even be about equal!
The event was very successful with regards to test-drives of an electric vehicle because around 10 people seized the opportunity! It was obvious that they were pleasantly surprised by the experience.
We believe that this event was highly beneficial to the town authorities (i.e. the Mayor, the Secretary, the Council and the Chief Architect) in their effort to develop electric mobility! We managed to provide them with succinct summary of the technical features of EVs and charging infrastructure, the economic case for electric mobility as well a brief on the legislative framework under which charging infrastructure operates.
Our team is looking forward to the few remaining the Round Table events – the events which shape the future of electric mobility in the cross-border region.