Electric car use in Estonia up 5 percent to January 2019 ({{contentCtrl.commentsTotal}})

Electric vehicle during charging (picture is illustrative).
Electric vehicle during charging (picture is illustrative). Source: Arvo Meeks/Valgamaalane/Scanpix

The number of electric vehicles in Estonia rose by five percent on year to January 2019, with hybrid vehicles seeing a 35 percent increase in use over the same period.

There were a total of 1,254 electric vehicle registered on the motor vehicle register at the beginning of 2019, BNS reports, quoting government agency Statistics Estonia, which as noted constituted a five percent rise on year, with 7,598 electric and hybrid vehicles combined registered, out of a total of a little under 750,000 cars nationwide.

The recent figures continue a five-year trend which has seen the use of hybrid vehicles quadruple, and that of electric-only vehicles nearly double, BNS reports.

The electric mobility program of 2011, and ensuing charging point network across the country, marked the start of the contemporary electric vehicle scene in Estonia, BNS reports; in 2014, more than 500 electric cars, which are still significantly pricer than comparable traditional fuel-driven cars, due to the cost of the batter, BNS reports, appeared in Estonia via the help of a subsidy. 

Estonia also recently announced a further €1.2 million support measure for electric vehicle purchases, according to BNS, which comes to €5,000 per vehicle, to be disbursed predominantly to transport companies.

EU-wide, the countries with the highest proportion of electric and hybrid vehicles registered are the U.K.

There are over 3 million electric cars in use worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA), with the number estimated to grow to over 100 million in ten years, assuming support policies.

The main factors hindering the wider use of electric cars are the amount of time necessary for charging, insufficient availability of changing stations and limited range of operation, especially in winter, though again improvements in these areas are expected.

Editor: Andrew Whyte

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