The first electric vehicle charger which doubles as a lamppost has been installed in the Zagreb suburb of Buzin, state agency Hina said on Thursday. This marks the beginning of a pilot program which will include installing 200 lamppost-chargers in several Croatian cities next year, with more than 100,000 such charging points expected to be built around the country over the following decade.
This is part of a project which aims to expand the electric vehicle infrastructure launched by the Strujni Krug (“Electric Circuit”) association of EV owners.
Cities included in the pilot project are Zagreb, Velika Gorica, and Osijek. The local company Smart Energy, which is part of the larger tech business M SAN Group, designed the first 3.5 kW charging station. Users can use the charger for free via a smartphone app. Although this is the first prototype that can be used this way, three or four other operators are expected to install their trial chargers in lampposts in the weeks ahead.
“There is a considerable number of charging stations in Croatia and the number of electric vehicles is increasing by the day, which calls for increasing the number of chargers,” Hina said.
A recent survey showed that 60 percent of EV owners charge them at home, in their garages or in backyards. But for people who live in apartments, notably in city centres, cannot charge their vehicles “without adequate parking spaces.”