Russian politicians concede there is some way to go before the eastern European country embraces the concept of green and electric vehicles, although they recognise their potential for pollution reduction.

Despite the number of such cars still being relatively low in the West, there is nonetheless a real awareness of their potential set against increasing knowledge of environmental issues associated with burning fossil fuels.

“I would not be too smart by saying green vehicles and electric vehicles are as important for Russia as in every other country,” said Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Alexey Rakhmanov, at this week’s Russian Automotive Forum in Moscow, organised by Adam Smith Conferences.

“Nonetheless, Russia has started some steps forward. Our task now is to get rid of great pollutants – from this point of view if you do nothing about fleet renewal no hybrid or electric vehicle would add anything to the eco-situation in cities.

“We created a zero tax for electric vehicles last year, but have a lot of issues in parking spaces and charging stations. I really don’t understand how I can park my car because I would have to plug [it] to my apartment just to charge it.”

The Deputy Minster admitted his expectations for low-emissions cars in Russia were “not that high,” although he noted a commission had been established to allocate subsidies to such vehicles.

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Rakhmanov also highlighted how his government would now allocate more resources to boost the commercial segment using LNG, although any increase in buses for example, should be met by infrastructure improvements.

“If you have 100 buses, you need to address infrastructure,” he said. “If you do that, we think we can provide an emphasis for companies working in this area.”