Out of the 507 environmentally-friendly electric cars that the state was planning to distribute to municipal social workers, only 336 were claimed.
The application round ended on September 3 and another one will be held in spring, Merle Ploompuu, project manager at the Ministry of Social Affairs told uudised.err.ee.
Low interest in procuring the electric vehicles could be attributed to the fact that municipalities are still skeptical on the cars' ability to function in harsh winter conditions, said Ploompuu. "Many requested one or two cars although [the municipalities] could have applied for three," she said.
In March, the government sealed a deal with Japan's Mitsubishi Corporation to buy 507 electric cars in exchange for 10 million carbon dioxide credits. From the proceeds of the deal, the state also plans to subsidize the first 500 electric vehicle buyers and build around 50 charging stations across Estonia by 2013.
Mitsubishi i-MiEv vehicles run on a 16-kilowatt-per-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which can last up to 160 kilometers per charge. One full charge at nighttime costs an estimated 1.5 euros. The top speed of the vehicle is 130 kilometers per hour.