The state is receiving 507 electric cars - for which it plans to establish a pervasive nationwide network to charge the vehicles - in exchange for trading 10 million carbon dioxide credits to Japanese conglomerate Mitsubishi.
The i-MiEV make cars, which are to arrive in December, will be given to state social workers. Confirmed on March 3, the deal also allocates funding from Mitsubishi to build 250 electric car charging centers in larger towns and along the main highways by 2013. The express chargers are capable of recharging 80 percent of an empty battery in 30 minutes.
Money from Mitsubishi will also be used to promote private consumption of electric cars, subsidizing the first 500 buyers, who will be required to recharge from renewable sources. The government said the move will be a step toward its goal to overhaul 10 percent of transport sector to rely on renewable energy by 2020.
"Through the implementation of the electric cars program, Estonia will likely have one of the world's most dense and innovative express charging networks, as well as the highest number of electric cars per capita," said the announcement by the government's communications bureau commenting the March 3 decision.