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
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
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.