1. Suomen sähköinen liikenne nyt ja
Electric Trafﬁc in Finland: the Present and
Senior Lecturer in Automotive Electronics
• ”Finland will never be the world number one
country in electric trafﬁc”
• Cold climate
• Long distances / low population density
• Warm, densely populated and/or countries with
small area are the optimal environments for
3. Bad arguments (= common
myths) against electric trafﬁc
• The grid can not cope with charging
• The vehicles can be charged overnight, when the load is low
• 0.5 million electric cars charging @ 2 kW = 1 GW = no problem
• Electric vehicles are spreading gradually, the grid can be improved
• Finnish distribution grid is already very modern and highly
• What about the long distances in Finland?
4. Long distances?
• Question: how long we can afford the sparse population?
• People are moving from rural areas to cities
• According to Yle News, many single family houses outside growth centers
might be worthless soon.*
• The population will concentrate in cities
• Long distance driving will diminish
• The battery technology advances
5. Helsinki region
• Helsinki region = Helsinki, Espoo, Vantaa and Kauniainen
• Population density: 950 persons / km2
• For comparison: in Stockholm region: 3597 persons / km2
• Population now: 1.1 million
• Population estimate (2035): 1.5 million
• +400000 inhabitants require massive mass trafﬁc arrangements
• Passenger car based trafﬁc would be a disaster, were they
electric or fossil fuel ones.
6. Long distances?
• Most of the trips with passenger cars are very short.
Typical trip from and back to work is couple of tens of
kilometers -> very well suitable for even the current
• Longer trips are usually to visit relatives and the summer
• Solution: 15 minutes fast charge while drinking coffee
and visiting the restroom
• Many families already have two cars - the other can
very well be electric
7. Good arguments against electric
trafﬁc (or issues to be handled)
• Low number of production = electric vehicles are
• Old electric installations in parking lots
• In Finland there are 1.5 million parking lot
sockets for engine & interior heater
• According to Aalto university report, the main
obstacles for electric trafﬁc are tax issues and
8. Signiﬁcant pros
• Minimal service cost
• Zero local emissions
• Fighting oil dependency -> human rights issues
• Better total efﬁciency
• Overall performance (full torque from 0 km/h)
9. Concerns for individuals
• The electric power is mildly taxed - for now
• Charging at your workplace is a tax-free
• As the electric vehicles become more common
-> tax revenue falls -> the electric vehicles will
• The planned satellite surveillance system
10. Passenger cars in Finland
• 2.4 million cars
• 0.1 million cars sold every year
• The average car is 13.1 years old
• The fuel consumption of new cars reduces about
3 % / year
11. Hybrid electric vehicles in
2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013
of which 5200 are Toyota Prius or Auris
12. Full electric vehicles in
• In the end of 2013, there were 439 electric vehicles (BEV +
PHEV) in Finland and 260 public charging stations.
• The electric companies have founded a company http://
virta.ﬁ/ to make the charging points more common. The
number of public charging stations is doubling in summer
• Price examples:
• Nissan Leaf: 36 k€, 200 km, 24 kWh, 8 h / 30 min ( 80 % @ 50
• Opel Ampera: 43 k€, 80 km*, 16 kWh, 4 h
* With gasoline: 500 km
13. Operating costs
• Electric vehicles have typically low maintenance cost (< 50 % of gas vehicle). The main beneﬁt is the higher
efﬁciency of the power system (> 80 % vs. < 30 %). The distribution losses in electricity distribution are < 5 %.
• Electric power costs typically about 0.12 €/kWh.
• Gasoline costs typically about 1.60 €/l (fuel tax 0.67 €) and Diesel fuel 1.50 €/l (fuel tax 0.49 €).
• 100 km with
• 20 kWh = 2.40 €
• 6 l of gasoline = 9.60 €
• 5.5 l of diesel = 8.25 €
• The fuel economy depends on driving style and vehicle.
• The difference is smaller if the fuel tax is taken into account. Without fuel tax:
• 6 l of gasoline = 5.58 €
• 5.5 l of diesel = 5.56 €
• If and when electric vehicles become more common, it is very likely that government wants to tax them also.
14. How about the battery?
• With regular hybrid vehicles with NiMH batteries:
usually no problems in 10 years / 160 000 km.
• For electric vehicles: we don’t know the reality.
• Does the range drop 20 % from the new car’s
range after 100, 120, 150 or 200 thousand km?
• The more common the electric vehicles are, the
cheaper are the batteries.
15. Taxation of vehicles
• The prices of new passenger cars (electric or not) have
relatively high vehicle tax in them. Couple of examples:
• Škoda Octavia 1.4 TSI Active 19370 € + tax 4485 =
• Nissan Leaf 31767 € + tax 4213 € = 35980 €
• The average age of passenger cars is high: 13.1 years.
• Additionally, a yearly tax is paid
16. Yearly tax for having a
• Depends on the power source(s), total weight
and CO2 emissions.
• Nissan Leaf: 153 € / year
• Škoda Octavia 1.4 TSI Active 101 € / year
• For diesel vehicles the tax is typically 400-500
17. Handled issues
• Training of rescue staff
• Updating the electric safety standard(s) and
18. Electric work safety
• Finland’s electric work safety legislation is pretty
• When working with electric vehicles with > 120
VDC battery voltage, we have to follow legislation
designed for electric installations in buildings.
• Own electric safety examination + vocational
degree in vehicle technology + 1 year of work
experience = qualiﬁcation for head of electric
work in repair shop
19. Safety of rescue staff
Photo: Mikko Saastamoinen
20. Electric bus trafﬁc
• Goal in the Helsinki region trafﬁc: 100 electric
buses in 2018 (of total ≈ 1000), 400 @ 2025
21. The Future
• Small electric vehicles
• Electric bus trafﬁc
• All the major railways are already electriﬁed
• Electric tram trafﬁc and commuter train trafﬁc
22. Thinking outside the box
• The battery and range issue can be dealt also
by changing the paradigm: ditch the 1500 kg
metal box and move only the person:
• Electric-aided bicycles
• Electric mopeds and motorcycles
• Segway and all kind of new vehicles
• Electric trafﬁc is more than just the vehicles:
• services (vehicle as service)
• city planning
• Finland can be a good environment for electric trafﬁc, the
high level of know-how and modern grid are the key
strengths of the country.
24. Sources and additional
• The easy way to follow the advances in electric
trafﬁc in Finland: http://electrictrafﬁc.ﬁ/