A woman charging a plug-in hybrid car in Espoo on 5 August 2022. The 2,000-euro subsidy offered to the buyers or long-term lessees of certain new electric vehicles may become unavailable as soon as next month, reports Helsingin Sanomat. (Heikki Saukkomaa – Lehtikuva)


THE BUDGET for subsidising the purchases and long-term leases of electric vehicles could be exhausted in September, report YLE and Helsingin Sanomat.

Antti Hänninen, a specialist at the Finnish Transport and Communications Agency (Traficom), stated to Helsingin Sanomat last week that the appropriation reserved for the subsidies will dry up “at some point” in September.

“In November, for example, the appropriation will surely have been used up. It’ll then simply no longer be worthwhile to apply for the purchase subsidy because as things stand there won’t be anything left of the appropriation,” he said to the daily newspaper.

The Finnish government earmarked an additional 9.5 million euros for the subsidies last spring, estimating at the time that the funding should suffice until March 2023.

Hänninen told YLE on Wednesday that 93 per cent of the funding has already been earmarked for declared purchases and long-term leases. The public broadcasting company wrote that the funding is to be increased by drawing 3.5 million euros from next year, but that the supplemental appropriation may not become available until late this year as a decision on the transfer is to be made in the supplementary budget in October.

“The ministerial working group on sustainable growth has made a decision to transfer 3.5 million euros from next year to this year’s appropriation, bringing it to a total of 18 million euros,” said Mikko Nygård, head of the finance and administration unit at the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Finns are able to claim a 2,000-euro subsidy for the purchase of a new electric car valued at no more than 50,000 euros. An average of 800–1,000 applications for the subsidy have been filed each month.

Although buyers typically have to wait for their electric vehicle for a considerable time due to the component shortage, they will receive the subsidy if a reservation for one has been submitted even if the vehicle was not delivered until, for example, June 2023.

“Traficom will reserve the subsidy if a person makes a purchase or a contract of purchase for an electric vehicle and filed an application that satisfies the subsidy’s conditions with Traficom,” Hänninen assured to Helsingin Sanomat. “The subsidy can be granted after initial registration even if it wasn’t done until next June.”

Once the appropriation has been completely used up, the agency will stop making reservations for new subsidies.

The budget for subsidising the purchases of electric and gas-powered vans and lorries remains relatively healthy, though.

Aleksi Teivainen – HT