Serbia’s transport emissions increased by nearly 54% between 1990 and 2019, from 4.5 MtCO₂e to 6.9 MtCO₂e. The emissions growth is predominantly due to the fact that while transport volumes have increased, the sector has continued to rely primarily on internal combustion engine, powered by fossil fuels (97–98% oil in 2019). The remaining small part of the transport sector is powered by electricity.
Our analysis of 1.5°C compatible pathways suggests that electrification should reach a 9–30% share by 2030 and 30–72% share by 2050.
The government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy envisages GHG emissions in the transport sector to reduce by 30–54% compared to 2005 by 2050, while the 1.5°C compatible pathways analysed here show a fully decarbonised sector by around 2053.
Since 2021, the government subsidises the purchase of an electric vehicle by up to EUR 5,000 and a hybrid vehicle by up to EUR 3,500, and has increased the total budget dedicated for the subsidies in 2023.,
The modal split between road and rail transport in Serbia is uneven for passenger and freight. While about 12% of passenger-kilometres take place by rail transport, almost 47% of Serbia’s freight transport is conducted by rail. However, only a third of rail transport lines were electrified as of 2017. Serbia needs to invest more heavily into rail electrification, encourage a modal shift in transport by providing adequate rail connections for passengers, and incentivise uptake of EVs through more than just subsidies, including through building more charging infrastructure.