An electric vehicle plugged in to a charge point in Helsinki on 3 January 2022. In Finland, the electrification of road traffic is moving slightly faster than the average in Europe but slower than in the Nordics, according to the Finnish Information Centre of Automobile Sector. (Jussi Nukari – Lehtikuva)

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THE ELECTRIFICATION of the vehicle stock appears to be picking up speed in Finland.

The Finnish Information Centre of Automobile Sector reported last week that plug-in vehicles accounted for roughly 30 per cent of the first registrations of passenger cars last year, a third of them being fully electric and two-thirds plug-in hybrids.

The proportion of fully electric vehicles is expected to rise to 17 per cent and that of plug-in hybrids to 23 per cent of first registrations this year. The registrations of fully electric vehicles are expected to increase particularly, making up roughly one-third of first registrations in 2025 and almost two-thirds in 2030.

The Finnish vehicle stock is forecast to consist of some 740,000 plug-in passenger vehicles by the end of the decade, signalling a nearly 25-per-cent increase from the 600,000 forecast last year. The slow turnover cycle of the stock – about 22 years – means that the stock will continue to include about 2.2 million combustion-engine cars in 2030.

“The revolution of driving power will move forward slowly even if the sales of new combustion-engine cars ended in 2035,” the centre said.

The Finnish Information Centre of Automobile Sector also reminded that the forecast is contingent on the development of the charging infrastructure, as a lack of home charging options and a comprehensive network of charge points will slow down electrification.

The electrification, it gauged, will accelerate significantly in the second half of the decade as a result of tougher limits on the carbon-dioxide emissions of passenger cars and vans in the European Union. The European Commission has proposed that mean emissions from passenger cars be reduced by 55 per cent and that new vehicles be zero emission by 2035.

“Electrification is progressing rapidly already with current measures, which include national purchase subsidies, the removal of car tax on fully electric and hydrogen cars, and incentives for low-emission company cars – in addition to the EU limits,” told Tero Kallio, the managing director of the Association of Automobile Industry in Finland.

“The use costs of electric cars being significantly lower than combustion-engine cars will for its part enhance the appeal of electric cars. The proliferation of electric and hydrogen cars could be accelerated further with charging infrastructure subsidies and more generous purchase subsidies,” he added.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT

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