Electric car sales steadily increase

Electric car.
Electric car. Source: Mikes-Photography / Pixabay

By 2035, all new cars sold in the European Union will be electric. Although electric vehicles (EVs) account only for 3 percent of car sales in Estonia today, car dealers say that sales are steadily rising.

Andrus Soodla, the head of leasing at Luminor, said that the share of electric cars sold and leased in Estonia is growing, albeit slowly.

"Compared to the same period last year, electric car sales have climbed by 40 percent this year."

Soodla said that the increased buying and leasing of electric vehicles is a result of their increased availability and the introduction of new models.

Two-thirds of EV are leased, and one-third are purchased outright.

They are leased at a higher rate than vehicles with internal combustion engines, which is likely due to the higher price tag.

Even though the price of power has dramatically increased, Soodla said, it is still less expensive to drive an electric car than a traditional car with an internal combustion engine.

"Individuals and businesses are increasingly using solar panels to generate their own electricity. So there are ways to mitigate or eliminate the effects of rising electricity prices," Soodla explained.

CEO of the Estonian Vehicle Dealers and Services Association (AMTEL) Arno Sillat said that electric vehicles accounted for 10 percent of European car sales this year.

Likewise, prices are increasing because, among other factors, the rare earth metals required to manufacture batteries are becoming scarce.

In the European Union, nevertheless, only electric vehicles will be available for purchase beginning in 2035.

Sillat believes that this will cause a shift in how people think about driving because those with median incomes will no longer be able to afford an electric car.

"This does not imply that the world's 1.3 billion cars will be replaced with electric vehicles. This wouldn't help to clean up the environment. Rather, it is a matter of using cars wisely and utilizing alternative means of transportation," Sillat said.

With more than a decade until 2035, Sillat is hopeful that new, more affordable battery technology will be available by then.

In 2021, the European Union proposed an effective ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars beginning in 2035.

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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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