Moscow, capital of oil-rich Russia, targets electric car growth

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Moscow, capital of oil-rich Russia, targets electric car growth

MOSCOW- Moscow, capital of one of the world's biggest hydrocarbon exporters, plans to boost the use of electric cars by rolling out a raft of charging infrastructure in the coming years, the city's top transport official told Reuters. The use of electric cars in oil and gas giant Russia lags far behind other European capitals. But Moscow plans to install 200 electric charging stations annually starting next year, said Maxim Liksutov, head of the city's transport department. "There are around 2,000 (electric) cars in Moscow now and their number increases every year by about 10-15%. Charging infrastructure has to appear for it to grow more," Liksutov said in an interview. It was natural that Moscow, a city of over 12.5 million inhabitants, would follow the global trend that has seen a boom in electric vehicle use in recent years, he added. Moscow has changed dramatically since Sergei Sobyanin was appointed mayor in 2010. He has pedestrianised streets, widened pavements and overhauled Soviet-era parks. The Russian capital will have around 600 city-owned charging stations by 2023, Liksutov said. It also wants to replace its public transport fleet - primarily its buses - to run off green energy within the next eight