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Mobility Basic Figures

Geographical Extent
No. Passenger Cars
No. Road Goods Vehicles
No. Busses/Coaches
Length Road Network

Source: EU energy and transport in figures - Statistical pocketbook, 2010

312,678 km²
38.136 mill.
16,080 mill. (2008)
2,922 mill. (2008)
92,400 (2008)
258,911 km (2008)
663 km (2008)

Status Quo

The total energy consumption in road transport has grown from about 100 PJ in 1990 to 250 PJ in 2007. The highest growth rates started in 1990 (political transformation) and since 2003 until now. The sharp increase in 1990 – 91 is mostly due to massive influx to Poland of second-hand, old, high fuel consumption cars, mainly from Germany after the democratic transition in 1989. The other sharp increase started in 2004 with Poland’s accession to EU. A major feature of road passenger transport in Poland is the continuous increase of the market share of diesel. In 2008, of over 320,000 new cars sold in Poland 135,781 vehicles were powered by diesel fuel. The share of diesel cars is 42.4% of total new vehicle sales. According to research results of the EU funded project ALTERMOTIVE the passenger vehicle stock in Poland has grown from about 5.3 million cars in 1990 to more than 14 million cars in 2007. Poland has one of the eldest vehicle fleet within the European Union. In 2008 about 19% of the vehicle fleet had an age of more than 20 years, about 18% between 16 and 20 years and about 29% between 11 and 15 years. Regarding the development of alternative car types, the number of gas driven cars increased to nearly 2 million in 2007 (about 10% market share). In Poland, hybrid cars are available for purchase since 2004.

The first of such vehicle was Toyota Prius. To this day only about 350 copies of this car were managed to sell. Last year, the Prius has found 89 buyers. Other cars with hybrid drives are sold in Poland at a similar or lower level. For example, hybrid Honda Civic found in the last two years only 26 customers (in the past year 19). Last year Poles bought 243 cars of this brand, the most popular was the Model RX (102 copies sold). All in all the Polish roads see today just over 800 cars with hybrid drive. This is one of the lowest numbers per capita in Europe. The EU funded project BEST have calculated that 34 flexifuel E85 vehicles have been sold in 2008. Cars with factory-fitted CNG also enjoy low interest in Poland among drivers. In 2008 a little over one hundred cars of this type, including 70 Fiats Panda, 22 Fiats Doblo, 1918 Opli Combo, 10 Volkswagen Caddy and one Iveco Daily and Opel Zafira. Those cars, which are available on the Polish market for several years, reported a drop in sales. The primary reason for the lack of interest among Polish CNG drivers is the lack of network stations on which you can fill the fuel. According to data collection within the EU funded project MADEGASCAR for 2009 in Poland there is a stock of 220 biogas cars, 66 biogas busses used in public transport and 10 biogas heavy duty vehicles. Currently there are 9 passenger car models and 1 light duty vehicles available on the market that run with CNG/biogas.

At the start of the EU funded project PROCURA, CNG was merely a niche market for bus companies in Poland. Hence one specific case study within PROCURA was supporting the development of CNG use by bus fleets and facilitate the diffusion of this technology. The introduction of alternative fuel buses in various Polish bus fleets, is deemed necessary to improve the local air quality in Polish municipalities and work towards a diversified fuel mix. Today a number of large Polish Cities are using clean vehicle technology in urban public bus transport mostly CNG, e.g.

  • Over 60% of buses operated by the Municipal Transport Company in Tarnow (MTC Tarnow) are equipped with alternative drive systems, namely compressed natural gas (CNG) and hybrid (diesel - electric) systems;
  • At present in Mielce there is the biggest modern, environment friendly bus fleet in Poland. At present the Municipal Transportation Company in Rzeszow, operates 40 CNG vehicles;
  • In 2008 PK, the public transport operator in Krakow bought new 45 Euro V CNG buses and started their exploitation.
  • In 2005 Slupsk, MZK Slupsk, Irisbus-Kapena and Pomorska Spółka Gazownicza (Seaside Gas Company) signed a deal about buses powered by gas putting into practice. The city bought 5 Irisbus Citelis 18 meter buses powered by CNG, whose exploitation started in February 2007.
  • The transport authority in Gdynia Poland introduced 5 CNG buses matching the EEV (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicle) emission standard in September 2007. The current fleet will be extended with another 15 buses (20 in total) until 2010. A fast fuelling station will be build up in the bus depot in 2008.

The so-called Green Stream Project was created in order to promote environmental technology in road transport. Most important stakeholder of the project is the Association of Polish Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Electrical Engineering. The participants aim creating the market of electric vehicles using renewable sources of energy.

Fuelling Infrastructure

The geo-information system www.metanoauto.com/modules.php shows 31 bio-gas refuelling stations in Poland (mostly located in the Wojewodschaft Podkarpackie region); the lack of CNG refilling infrastructure was i.e. assessed within the EU funded project PROCURA as main reason for the low figures of vehicle using this fuel (the IEE funded project GasHighWay highlights a figure of 32 refuelling stations). Statistically there are 19 refueling stations per 1000 NGVs. The decisive majority of stations was built with the focus on corporate users and after the strategic partnership between Polish Gas and Oil Company (currently the main investor in a CNG refuelling infrastructure and gas provider) and some big company (municipal public transportation or private shipping companies) have been concluded. There are only 9 stations opened non-stop, a lot of stations operates in standard working hours of gasworks where they are located, so between 7 am and 5 pm, or even 7 am and 2 pm.

The geo-information system European Environmental Atlas does not show refuelling stations for E85 flexifuel and biodiesel (also reported within the EU funded project BEST). The geo-information system www.h2stations.org does not list any refuelling stations for hydrogen in Poland. On the internet page www.orlen.pl/PL/DlaKierowcow/ZnajdzStacje/Strony/default.aspx there is an geo-information system search engine for refuelling stations including clean fuels, i.e. the system shows refuelling stations for bioester (about 300, bio-derivate for diesel) and LPG (more than 1000) all over the country. According to data collection within the EU funded project MADEGASCAR for 2009 in Poland there 11 biogas refilling stations for cars and 10 for busses used in public transport.

Until the mid of 2010 several hundred public recharging plugs for electric cars are planned to be installed in various locations in Poland.

The Green Stream Cluster plans to install 330 of those in Warsaw, Danzig, Kattowitz, Krakau und Mielec (investment volume about 4.8 m EUR). There is planned to have a one year testing period. The company Ekoenergetyka-Zachod plans to install similar facilities in Zielona Gora (Grünberg), Sulechow, Pila (Schneidemühl) und Sieradz.

National Support Instruments for Clean Vehicles

Fiscal Incentives

In Poland there is a uniform VAT of 22% on the purchase of vehicles. The registration tax for vehicles depends on cylinder capacity and does not include a direct environmental related element. For passenger cars there is no circulation tax; the circulation tax for commercial vehicles depends on weight (below 3.5 tonnes). In 2009 Polish drivers had threatened eco-tax in the amount of up to 3,000 zł (for cars produced before 1992). In 2009/2010 the Government starts discussion on the establishment of annual circulation tax depending on engine size, vehicle emissions and vehicle age, but so far no decision is taken.

There is a fuel excise duty of 0.488 EUR/litre for unleaded petrol and 0.339 EUR/litre for diesel. Biofuels are almost fully exempted from the excise tax (95% tax reduction). Biogas, hydrogen and bio-hydrogen are exempted from excise tax.

Additional support for biocomponents and liquid biofuels production will also be provided under the Long-Term Biofuel Promotion Project 2008-2014. This Project implements Art. 37 of the Biocomponents and Biofuels Act. The Programme envisages the introduction of preferential treatment for public transport operating in conurbations, holiday resorts and nature conservation areas, which will apply solely to vehicles using environmentally friendly fuels (liquid biofuels as well as CNG and LPG) or fitted with electric or hybrid engines. An incentive to the use of biofuels, which will also apply to private individuals will be a reduction of parking charges.


The EcoFund ((Polish environmental foundation) task is to provide financial support for environmental protection projects important to the region as well as helping to attain ecological goals recognized by the international community. This program is particularly focused on rationalisation of energy use and promotes the use of renewable energy sources. The program supports projects related amoung others to replacement of coal fuels by biofuels. The projects could be granted up to 70%. However, support is available only for projects where the equipment has been produced in EcoFund countries (USA, France, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden, and Norway) or Poland. So far the fund has financed the purchase of public transport CNG buses with about 1 m EUR.

I.e. the gas company Karpacka Spolka Gazownictwa Sp. z.o.o. (Carpathian Gas Company, Ltd) located in Tarnow in southern Poland promoted CNG as fuel for motor vehicles by subsidy to fuel conversion from fossil motor fuel to CNG in the existing cars and to new cars using CNG. This project was carried out between 15 September, and 31 December 2006. Each which has bought CNG powered cars received a grant of the amount of 1,000 PLN (ca. 250 EUR). The number of participants was 220, including 70 individual and 150 institutional car owners.


Poland has adapted the Euro vehicle standard. Since 1996 Euro 2, since 2000 Euro 3, since 2006 Euro 4 and since 2009 Euro 5.

The obligation imposed on Member States by Article 4(1) of Directive 2003/30/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 May 2003 on the promotion of the use of biofuels or other renewable fuels for transport was transposed into Polish Law through Art. 32 and Art. 36.3 of the Biocomponents and Liquid Biofuels Act of 25 August 2006 (Dz. U. (Journal of Laws) No 169, Item 1199 and 2007 No 35, Item 217 and No 99, Item 666). In 2006 the Minister of Economic Affairs brought into force Regulation on 8 September 2006 on liquid biofuel quality requirements (Dz.U. No 166, Item 1182), which created the conditions for placing two biofuels on the market:

  • fatty acid methyl esters used as direct fuel
  • diesel containing 20% of such esters

To be eligible for reduced taxes, ethanol must be produced within EU. There are no standards for E85/ED95.

Unleaded fuels are banned in Poland since 2002. A maximum of 10 gr/litre sulphur is allowed for diesel and petrol.

Public Procurement of Clean Vehicles

The Act of 29 January 2004 - Public Procurement Law (Dz. U. of 2007 no 223, item 1655, amended) together with its secondary legislation lays down legal grounds for the public procurement system in Poland.

The Law regulates the following issues:

  • rules and procedures for awarding public contracts (Articles 1-138 f),
  • public procurement contracts (Articles 139-151),
  • competent authorities with respect to public procurement matters: Public Procurement Office President (Articles 152-155); Public Procurement Council (Articles 157-160); The National Chamber of Appeals established by the PPO President (Articles 172-176 a),
  • control of the award of public contracts (Articles 161-171 a),
  • legal protection measures (Articles 179-198),
  • liability for breach of provisions of this act– Public Procurement Law (Articles 199-203).

In 2008 the value of contracts awarded in Poland exceeded 109.5 billion PLN whereof about 26% was related to supplies. The 2008 National Action Plan on sustainable public procurement 2010-2012 should contribute to popularization and support of wider social, economic and environmental objectives assuring long-term benefits and setting example of proper public expenditure. In 2008 the Central Procurement Office PPO together with the Mineral and Energy Economy Research Institute (Polish Academy of Sciences) and the Polish National Energy Conservation Agency (KAPE) organized three training sessions to promote environmental issues in public procurement. The training covered two areas: Life Cycle Assessment and Life Cycle Cost and environment criteria for energy consuming products.

In total ca. 100 representatives of central and local government administration took part in the training. Under the National Action Plan for green public procurement in 2007-2009 in December 2008 PPO and the Ministry of Economic organized the 2nd National Conference on Green Procurement whose aim was to popularize information on environment friendly procurement. Experts presented legal regulations facilitating the use of environmental criteria in contract award procedures in the light of Directive 2004/18/EC and the Public Procurement Law. They also discussed the community ecological label - Ecolabel, energy efficiency etiquette and criteria for energy efficient buildings. The Foundation of the Efficient Energy Use and Polish Platform of Environment Technologies presented their projects and promotions. Practical actions were illustrated on the basis of Warsaw public transport bus company Miejskie Zakłady Autobusowe. Within the EU funded project PROCURA the company had developed and successfully introduced green vehicle/fuel procurement models (project names were “fuel for Warsaw”and “car for Warsaw”). In principle environmental criteria for the vehicles purchase were undertaken on basis of EU guidelines.

The Polish long-term Biofuel Promotion Project 2008-2014 envisages the introduction of preferential treatment of public procurement purchases of vehicles and machinery fitted with engines able to use liquid biofuels.

The so-called ethanol bus buyers’ consortium has been working since 2004. The objective of the project is to get at least two producers of ethanol buses on the European market. The required number of buses needed in order to succeed with the joint procurement is approximately 1,000. On basis of this ethanol buses are demonstrated in Slupsk (PL), La Spezia (IT), Madrid (ES), Stockholm (SE) and on the way in Nanyang (China) and Sao Paolo (Brazil).

National Information Sources on Clean Vehicles


webpage of the Polish public procurement office with information on clean public procurement


webpage of EkoFundusz (Polish environmental foundation) with information on specific grant schemas


webpage of the EU funded Civitas Caravel Krakow project


webpage of the Cluster initiative Greenstream to promote electro vehicles in Poland


Polished version of the EU top ten project with an environmental ranking of cars


webpage on biofuels in Poland including a calculator showing CO2 safings when using biofuels (bioelster instead of conventional fuels), a list of fuelling stations offering biofuel as well as a database of vehicles ready for the use of biofuel


webpage of the Polish car owner association with information on green vehicles

Important Documents for Clean Vehicles