Electric Vehicles Win
the Running-Cost Savings Race
Electric mobility is an unstoppable trend which cannot be reversed. Other ecological vehicular propulsion
systems are too complicated or impractical. The European market now is a battlefield of cars and truck
fleets in regards to their operational costs. Low-consumption diesel-powered engines compete with
CNG powered and electric vehicles. We present here an interview with Ing. Karel Bárta, CEO at Cenntro.
Mr Bárta, the current situation has put
many business plans of local companies
through a test. What is the status quo
in electric mobility?
Automotive businesses are obliged to
European Union regulations, and selling
a prescribed share of electric vehicles
(though “sponsored” by the producer) is the
cheapest way to avoid potential penalties.
With a proper subsidy policy, the purchase
of an electric vehicle can be a very good
option for a company or an individual. The
subsidy in the Czech Republic is 30-40% of the
purchase cost of an electric vehicle, which is
very attractive for many of our clients. Electric
vehicles have the lowest running costs per
1 km. This is partly thanks to the construction of
a vehicle without a combustion motor being
considerably simpler: it contains app. 10 %
of parts of a traditional vehicle.
Can you briefly introduce Cenntro to our
The history of Cenntro dates back to 2013,
and we have sold about 40,000 vehicles so far.
The vehicles are sold as Tropos Motors in the
USA and Germany. Currently, our company
is developing a larger model, called Metro II.
The company comes from the USA,
production facilities (like those of many other
global brands) are situated in China. In 2019,
our company signed a contract to become
the exclusive representative in the Czech
Are Czech businesses interested in electric
vehicles or, in your case, electric vans?
Yes, they are. Companies operating
in logistics find our small vans
to be an ideal solution for
product delivery within
a municipality, or within
the operation of their
facilities. Companies such as Rohlík are
testing this vehicle, and others have
already started negotiations. Our vehicle
is a good model to be finished with
various custom tops, such as a box van, or
a freezer and refrigerating tops. The Li-on
batteries have a capacity of 26 kWh, and
operate the cooling unit with a range of
about 180 km.
What company is the best target group
for your vehicles?
The Cenntro Metro I is suitable for logistics
businesses and applications in municipal
services. Our chassis accommodates basically
any kind of top, from basic types like a tilting
flatbed and spray trucks to those with special
functions. The Metro I model, with a cabin
width of 1200 mm, is, on one hand, limited
in the sense of the interior room, on the
other hand, it represents a new level
of operational comfort. It is a narrow profile
which allows the vehicle to drive through
and stay parked in places impossible
for standard vehicles. The vehicle is equipped
with power steering and brakes, ABS,
heating, a handsfree set, a reverse camera,
and (if ordered) air-conditioning. The client
does not need a wall box; standard sockets
of 220 V with a 16A plug fuse are sufficient.
Czech entrepreneurs might become more
careful with their investments due to
the COVID-19 impact. What can you say
to change their decision about the holding
In my opinion, many entrepreneurs would
rather have their old vehicles serviced than
purchase new ones. However, if there
are subsidies on the purchase of electric
vehicles, businesses should seriously
consider this option. Without the subsidy,
an electric vehicle demonstrates a certain
level of prestige, vision, and “green thinking”.
With subsidies as high as 30–40 %, it becomes
a good economic decision with the bonus
of the good feeling of joining the growing
group of drivers who help to improve the
climate and reduce pollution in towns.
Thank you for the interview.
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