Finland moves closer to full electric transport

electric vehicles

The journey to EV transport is accelerating in Finland as prices come down and attitudes to electric vehicles become more positive.

The number of fully electric vehicles is forecast to rise with the share of fully electric vehicles reaching 42 per cent by 2025 and almost 70 per cent by 2030, according to a survey by the Finnish Information Centre of the Automobile Sector.

“The more personal experience with electric cars, the more positive the opinion towards them,” said Tero Kallio, managing director of the Finnish Automobile Industry Association.

Finland has a population of 5.5 million and 2.7 million cars, but only 18 per cent of cars sold in Finland last year were fully electric. But in a country where the average distance between major cities can be between 100 and 500 kilometres, attitudes seem to be changing fast, and higher petrol prices have made drivers rethink their attitude to electric vehicles.

According to the survey, while 44 per cent of the respondents said they were prepared to go fully electric, some 82 per cent said they were inclined to buy a petrol hybrid car, while 55 per cent said they would choose a plug-in hybrid.

However, the lack of charging points and associated infrastructure is deterring people from buying EVs and while the number of charging points is increasing it is not keeping pace with meet demand. The average €50,000 price tag for a fully electric vehicle is another barrier currently deterring many Finnish households.

Last year around 18 per cent of the first registered passenger cars were fully electric. By 2025 the share is forecast to increase to 42 per cent and by 2030 to almost 70 per cent.

Combustion engine cars and commercial vehicles will continue to be mainstream for many years. Currently, around 94 per cent of passenger cars are powered by fossil fuels. In 2040, it is expected that there will be approximately 1.2 million combustion engine cars in the fleet, or approximately 40 per cent.

“The number of cars that can be charged will exceed the number of cars powered by internal combustion engines only in 2037. In the future, there will also be a comprehensive and high-quality network of maintenance and repair shops for internal combustion engines, and their importance in the car trade will be great for a long time to come,” says CEO Tero Lausala from the Confederation of Automotive Industry.

More than 80 per cent of Finland’s approximately 100,000 trucks will still be diesel-powered in 2030.

The goal is to at least halve the amount of traffic emissions by 2030 compared to the 2005 level. With current developments, this goal cannot be achieved. In addition to the basic forecast, a scenario has been drawn up, which includes measures to speed up the breakdown of motive power. In the scenario of a faster change in motive power, the number of cars to be charged in 2030 would be around 950,000, while in the basic forecast it remains at around 750,000 cars.

“The most important measure to increase the number of electric cars is the four-year purchase incentive. If we choose a slower electrification of the car fleet and a reduction in the distribution obligation, the emission targets will not be achieved. In this case, there is a significant increase in the fuel distribution obligation at the end of the decade or the purchase of emission rights from other EU countries. Incentives for the purchase of electric cars are therefore also an advantage for internal combustion engine drivers,” said CEO Tero Kallio from Autotuojat ja-teollisuus ry.

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