The Uzbek authorities intend to be the first in the post-Soviet space to establish mass production of electric cars and motorcycles, as well as to deploy a wide network of charging infrastructure throughout the republic. For this, international manufacturers will be attracted to help Uzbeks create their own competitive product. Uzbek electric vehicles will be supplied to Russia, but they are unlikely to be in great demand, experts say. The government of Uzbekistan has decided to create a car-sharing and bicycle rental industry in the republic, as well as national production of electric vehicles. The relevant provisions are contained in the decree No. 812 "On additional measures to support the activity of hiring and renting vehicles, the use of electric vehicles and motor vehicles, as well as the development of cycling throughout the country." In particular, the document notes that the state automobile concern Uzavtosanoat (formerly GM Uzbekistan) is obliged to create a concept for the transition to electric transport during this year. "JSC" Uzavtosanoat "with the involvement of international consulting organizations and foreign experts, by February 1, 2021, to develop and submit to the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Uzbekistan a draft concept for the production at the enterprises of" Uzavtosanoat "of passenger cars and motor vehicles driven exclusively by an electric motor, providing specific terms for the implementation of projects, production capacities, amounts of funding, government support and other information, ”says the document signed by the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov. The same decree instructs the Ministry of Finance of the Republic to take into account the abolition of fees paid by car owners when purchasing electric cars and their temporary import into the country when forming the state budget. Ministries and khokimiyats were instructed to develop and submit for approval to the Uzbek Cabinet of Ministers, within two months, a roadmap for the installation of charging terminals for electric vehicles on the basis of studying international practice. Also, the Uzbeks intend to create a large-scale infrastructure for bicycle rental. The Ministry of Internal Affairs of the republic was instructed to remove restrictions on the movement of cycling. In addition, the national television will conduct propaganda among the population for the use of motor vehicles in the economy. Such a serious emphasis on the production of electric cars may mean the transition of Uzbekistan itself to an ecological mode of transport, said automotive expert Sergei Ifanov. He reminds that "Uzavtosanoat" accumulates all the automobile production capacities of the republic, producing cars under the brands Isuzu, MAN and Chevrolet. In Russia, Uzavtosanoat previously supplied cars under the brands Uz-Daewoo and Ravon, and since 2019 - under the Chevrolet brand. The company "Uzavtosanoat" itself was previously a joint venture of the American concern General Motors and the government of Uzbekistan, in 2018 the state bought out the rest of the shares from the Americans, and "Uzavtosanoat" became completely state-owned. Although the decree informs about the development of exclusively electric vehicles, while it is not a question of Uzbekistan's unilateral refusal from internal combustion engines (ICE), the author of the Rusautomobile automobile blog Sergey Tsyganov believes. “Indeed, the document obliges the automaker to develop a concept for the production of exclusively electric vehicles. But the concept is not yet a ban on cars, moreover, when preparing the concept, the word "exclusively" will probably go away, it was obviously inserted by an unresponsive official. Although, if you follow the letter of this decree of the Cabinet of Ministers of Uzbekistan, it is precisely towards abandoning cars with internal combustion engines, ”says Sergey Tsyganov, author of the Rusautomobile blog. "Uzavtosanoat" will try to organize the export of electric vehicles to the territory of Russia, but this is unlikely to give any noticeable result, Sergei Ifanov believes. “The Uzbek side is actively lobbying the interests of its auto industry in Russia at the level of intergovernmental commissions. However, with electric vehicles, they are unlikely to be able to enter our market. First of all, because the market itself is not ready for such cars, and even those produced by a non-status car company, such as Tesla, Nissan or Jaguar. And without exporting to Russia on the national market alone, they will not be able to create a sustainable competitive product, ”Ifanov expressed his opinion in an interview with Gazeta.Ru. In just nine months of 2020, 82 electric vehicles were delivered to Uzbekistan, which is 59 cars more than in the same period in 2019, the Uzbek newspaper Podrobno reports.
Electric shock: Uzbekistan switches transport to electricity
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