project news

First Round Table in Petrich

26 November, 2021

On Friday, 26th of November, SPEE-BG launched series of round tables in the Greece-Bulgaria cross-border region as part of the E.VE.CR.I. project, funded by the Cooperation Programme Interreg V-A “Greece-Bulgaria 2014-2020”. The chosen venue for this event was Hotel Bats in Petrich, where local business owners and specialists from the electric vehicles industry gathered and shared valuable insight into latest trends and technologies. Representatives of all E.VE.CR.I beneficiaries were present at the meeting – both online and in-person.

Some of the guests, unsurprisingly, arrived with electric vehicles to the venue. Project beneficiaries arranged a Kia Niro to be available to willing drivers for a test-drive prior to the meeting. A Tesla model S was also available for a test drive before the round table started. Four guests and employees at the venue seized the chance to have their first experience with driving an electric vehicle.

A local TV crew covered the event

The round table was kicked off with a welcome by the event moderator Mrs. Tsonya Krasteva, followed by a brief introduction of the project, explaining its scope and the goals of this event.

Shortly after, representatives from Voltspot – one of Bulgaria’s biggest charging networks – took the word and prompted engaging discussion. They were largely optimistic about the adoption of electric vehicles in Bulgaria – when second-hand electric vehicles become widespread in the market, they would likely be affordable to many Bulgarians. Hotspot, boasts a dense coverage of the main internal routes in Bulgaria.

‘Just look at the Trakia motorway. Our network alone has a quick charging station for every 80km.’

Other topics of discussion included recent changes in electricity prices and global trends in electric mobility, such as the adoption of electric lorries in the most developed countries and how could this apply to us.

Mr. Ilia Petrov from Kia gave an insightful presentation on the latest trends in Kia’s EVs department. Guests were introduced to the new Kia EV6, a model based on an entirely new platform developed specifically for electric vehicles. Niro, offered at the test drive, which was originally developed as a conventional car.

A notable representative of the local business attending at the round table was engineer Mr. Kiril Georgiev – the founder and director of “Ekita”. “Ekita” is a local company with nearly 30 years of experience in the manufacturing of electric motors.

The last part of the event was dedicated to presenting the Greek point of view to the Bulgarian audience. Mr. Stavros Stavris joined the event remotely via an online platform to share his extensive knowledge on the topic. In his capacity as a former president of the Hellenic Association of Toll Network, Mr. Stavris presented a very detailed case of the charging infrastructure and capabilities of the Greek’s toll highways. Mr. Stavris presented a succinct account of all the important metrics of electric mobility in Greece such as sales of EVs, number and density of charging stations, and provided assessment of the benefits, both in terms of harmful emissions reductions and monetary savings, that Greek drivers of EVs enjoy.

The event was wrapped by attendees having a coffee break and a brief informal gathering with great promise for the future of electric mobility in the cross-border region.