Developments must include electric car charging stations going forward

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Electric vehicle charging station in Tallinn. Source: Siim Lõvi/ERR

From Wednesday, all new developments and building renovations in Estonia must come with the infrastructure needed to add electric car charging stations.

The green revolution that has swept Europe will force car manufacturers to look at electric options as emission norms will get stricter. One after another, manufacturers are stating that their selection will be electric in the next decade, ETV's daily affairs show "Aktuaalne kaamera" reported on Wednesday.

Volvo was the latest with CEO Hakan Samuelsson recently saying the Swedish automaker may switch to selling electric vehicles exclusively by 2030. Other major companies are expected to follow.

Another important factor is the increasingly more available price points on which electric vehicles are sold, which will soon put pressure on Estonia's charging infrastructure.

"From 2025, the electric car will likely be a cheaper option than a combustion engine car. If buildings do not have enough charging capacity, we might be in a situation where people cannot turn to cheaper and more environment-friendly choices because we lac the infrastructure," said Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications construction and housing department head Ivo Jaanisoo.

The situation regarding public charging points in Estonia is decent, but the ports are often meant for rapid charging. Car manufacturers however would consider rapid chargers an exception and recommend regular charging, which is often most reasonable at the car's regular parking spot.

The Uus-Veerenni development district for example has already taken the requirments into consideration.

"We have laid cables for a few clients. If a person wants to, acquires an electric car, they can put the nozzle there and load up. And it is is connected to the apartment's electricity meter, which means they do not have to add an additional counter, it runs in the apartment's monthly utility bills," Mario Pajuste, head of real estate development construction at Merko Ehitus, said.

There are plenty of new apartments developed, but only a few percent of prospective real estate buyers are interested in charging stations.

While it may seem that the green revolution has not reached Estonia yet, the state has set that if a non-residential building has more than 20 parking spots, it must also have at least one charging station by 2025.

The new conditions do not cause much headache for construction nor is it expensive. "It is a little bit, but if we are talking of cable glands, it is marginal. But if you need to build out an additional charging point, it means additional ampere fees, cables, all that," Pajuste said.

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Editor: Kristjan Kallaste

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