Croatia marked World Post Day and Croatian Post Day on Friday by introducing 180 electric bicycles for use by mail carriers.
The bicycles, worth HRK 3.73 million, have been purchased by Croatian Post, the Environmental Protection Fund co-financing the purchase with 49% of the amount.
It is estimated that one bicycle, to replace one petrol-driven motorbike, is expected to help save HRK 7,000 annually and that the 180 electric bicycles will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 100 tonnes annually.
Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic, who attended the presentation of the electric bicycles, said: “Croatian Post is an example of a state-owned company that has been undergoing restructuring for three and a half years in a market where everything has been privatised and where it is no longer the only provider of postal services.”
He said that the company’s operations had been improved very much in the last three and a half years and that it operated well. He compared it to companies in the tourism sector, where he said the state had previously owned a large number of bankrupt hotels that were now operating successfully.
“It is a policy we have been implementing from the first day of our term in office. This government has not messed up any company in the last three years, the only thing we have done is raise them to a higher level,” Milanovic said, describing this as patriotism.
Transport Minister Sinisa Hajdas Doncic stressed that Croatian Post was one of the most successful companies in its sector. “It has not only increased revenues in the last three years but cut spending by more than HRK 200 million and increased its EBITDA five times.”
Hajdas Doncic added that Croatian Post would always remain majority state-owned even though in the next few years it would be preparing for an initial public offering of shares.
Commenting on a Croatian Railway (HZ) train that has been returned to Croatia from Hungary after it was held up there a few weeks ago after bringing refugees from Croatia to Hungary, Hajdas Doncic said that the train was in a very bad state and full of garbage and that the HZ would send Hungarian authorities a bill for some 30,000 euros, to include costs of cleaning the train.
Environment and Nature Protection Minister Mihael Zmajlovic said that the electric bicycles presented today were a product of a Croatian company from Ludbreg, northeast of Zagreb, employing several hundred people.
The FreeDuck2 electric bicycle is manufactured by Ducati Komponenti from Ludbreg and the Slovenian company Krpan. Its price, with additional equipment, is HRK 15,000. It can develop a speed of 25 km per hour, has a carrying capacity of a maximum 200 kilograms and can cover a distance of 60 kilometres with one battery charge. The bicycles will be distributed around the country and 12 will be used by Zagreb postal carriers. (Hina)