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Transport goes electric in the Nordic countries

All the Nordic countries have acknowledged that electric cars will form a part of future transport systems, but the stage of development and investments made to promote this varies by country. During the fall, we learned about the goals and methods to further the electrification of transport in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark

In October, we made a study trip to Oslo and Göteborg, focusing on the promotion of electric cars in Norway and Sweden. In December, commissioned by the City of Helsinki Public Works Department, we studied the implementation models and solutions for charging points in Oslo, Stockholm, and Copenhagen.

There are currently some 1,500 chargeable vehicles in Finland, 40 per cent of which are fully electric cars. In Norway, there are an impressive 75,000 chargeable vehicles, while in Sweden, their number is 15,000, and in Denmark, 4,500.

In Norway, the increase in the number of electric vehicles is almost solely based on changing the motive power of private cars, which is strongly supported by the state and towns. Electric cars are exempt from value-added tax, road tolls, ferry fees, and parking fees. In Denmark, growth relies heavily on the electrification of cities’ and companies’ own vehicles. Shared electric cars and bicycles are also publicly available in Copenhagen. In Göteborg, Sweden (the home town of Volvo), there is a firm belief in the increasing popularity of electric buses.

The Finnish government and cities have a good opportunity to learn from other countries’ experiences. Our study trips to the Nordic countries this fall aimed to increase this knowledge. We were accompanied by representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, regional councils, cities, and energy companies. The experience we gained has contributed to our vision of the role of electric transport in the transport system of the future, as well as how to take the increasing popularity of electric vehicles into consideration in planning the urban environment.