The news about the complete replacement of the entire US federal government fleet with new electric vehicles was generaly overlooked in North Macedonia. In order to meet the climate agenda of the new US government, American President Joe Biden decided to replace almost 650.000 vehicles with electric ones.

Meta.mk queeried the Macedonian state and local authorities about this decision of the US President Joe Biden, especially when the import of electric vehicles in Macedonia equals a statistical error, and the use of diesel fuel, the biggest air pollutant, has been increasing in the last few years.

On the question whether there is a plan by the government of the Republic of North Macedonia (RNM) to gradually replace the state’s vehicle fleet with electric vehicles in the forthcoming period, we received the following answer from the Ministry of Economy, on behalf of the government:

‘The government of RNM is approaching this issue with utmost seriousness. The potential purchase of electric vehicle fleet for the government will be put on the agenda with the end of the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government has directed all of its efforts toward providing aid for everyone and to lessen the consequences,” said the ministry for Meta.mk regarding the pandemic.

The Association of the Units of Local Self-government of the Republic of North Macedonia – ZELS stated for Meta.mk that as a point in the agenda of the Managing Board’s session there weren’t any discussions about replacing the municipalities’ vehicles with electric vehicles.

“We have information that certain units of local self-government are considering intensively to take steps in this direction and some have already purchased these types of vehicles”, ZELS said.

A positive step forward was made by the City of Skopje in 2019 when it acquired 6 hybrid vehicles for the needs of its administration, thus replacing the diesel vehicles that contributed to the air pollution in Skopje. Mayor Petre Shilegov promised that while he is the Mayor all vehicles in the city administration’s fleet that will be purchased in the future will be either electric or hybrid.

Despite the crisis, the Electronic System for Public Purchases is showing that state public enterprises, and other legal entities that are properties of the state and the municipalities, in the several past months, during the COVID-19 pandemic were still purchasing new vehicles. None of those are not with electric motors, since they aren’t obliged to do that.

On the 11th of January, the Joint-stock Company for Management of State-owned Business Premises bought 4 gasoline powered vehicles.

On the 1st of December 2020, the Public Enterprise “Strezhevo” from Bitola has purchased SUVs and nowhere it was stated that the vehicles should be electric.

Even the Defense Ministry has acquired two diesel vehicles for the needs of SEEBRIG.

These agreements show that new official vehicles are being purchased both by state institutions and the municipalities, but still, they aren’t electric.

On the other hand, in the past 2-3 months, according to the insight that Meta.mk had into the Electronic System for Public Purchases, there was an enormous number of agreements for purchase of gasoline or diesel furl for the current vehicle fleet both by the state institutions and the municipality authorities, which are expenditures that could be lowered if electric vehicles are purchased.