Further 114 new electric cars to soon be travelling Estonia’s roads

26. February 2021 | 16:07

To date, the Environmental Investment Centre (EIC) has made all decisions related to the second round of the grant for purchasing electric vehicles, the acceptance of applications for which ended in mid-December after only half an hour thanks to great interest. A total of 32 private individuals and 28 companies, who will be purchasing a total of 114 new electric vehicles, received a positive response. The total amount of grant is EUR 570,000.

‘There are currently more than 1,400 electric vehicles operating in Estonia, 308 of which were acquired or are in the process of being acquired with the grant from EIC. Thus, we can say that one of the goals of the measure – which is to popularise electric vehicles – has fully justified itself,’ says Krisli Kõrgesaar, who is the Head of Energy Area at EIC. ‘We would like to remind people that vehicles purchased with the help of the grant are intended for use and must cover at least 80,000 kilometres in Estonia over a period of four years. This is a commitment already made by the grant recipient when preparing the application. In this way, we also fulfil the second goal of the grant, which is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,’ Kõrgesaar adds.

‘While in the first application round a year ago, about 2/3 of the grant recipients were companies, this time, private individuals were faster when it came to submitting applications. Four companies want to purchase the maximum, or 10 electric vehicles,’ explains Aive Haavel, the Senior Project Coordinator at EIC, adding that the grant for five cars has already been paid out.

Those who want to purchase 10 electric vehicles are the logistics company AS Eesti Post; Electric Beast OÜ, which provides short-term rental services; Mobire Eesti AS, which offers full-service leasing; and AS Utilitas Tallinn, which supplies district heating to a large portion of Tallinn. Eight companies received grant for two vehicles, while one company received support for seven vehicles, and another company received support for purchasing five electric vehicles. All companies receiving grant in the first and second round can be found here on the EIC’s website (the result does not include private individuals according to data protection requirements).

Aulis Meitus, the Member of the Management Board of Utilitas, a supplier of district heating, is happy to be receiving the support, stating that as a renewable energy producer, Utilitas considers achieving carbon neutrality to be important, with electrification of vehicles being a part of their long-term plan. ‘We have developed a network of electric car charging stations, where we will begin charging cars with green electricity produced in Utilitas’s cogeneration plants and solar parks, which will reduce the use of non-renewable fossil fuels and CO2 emissions. The electric cars purchased within the framework of this project are only the first stage in the introduction of electric cars, and this is something we definitely plan to move forward with,’ Meitus explains.

The list of car makes purchased by both private individuals and companies is the following: Škoda Enyaq (30), Nissan Leaf (18), Tesla Model 3 (17), Renault ZOE (12), Hyndai Kona (10), Renault Kangoo (10), Volkswagen ID3 (7), various Peugeot models (4), Mazda MX-30 (2), Volkswagen ID4 (2), Honda E advance (1), Kia e-Niro (1). A total of 22 grant recipients want to install a GPS device in their vehicle (the respective number was eight in the first round). They will be exempt from having to submit the number of kilometres driven on an annual basis and are not included in the sample that is required to present their car to EIC for inspection after a two days’ notice.

Out of the applications received prior to the close of the second round 42 were not funded. EIC has sent a proposal to those applicants to put their application on hold, in the event that any money from the first or second rounds is released at the expense of those who decided not accept the support. EIC awaits a written response from everyone who failed to receive grant, otherwise the respective applicant loses their place on the list. Receiving a proposal to standby does not mean that the submitted application meets all of the requirements, as compliance has not been verified in the event of unfunded applications. EIC will also review applications in the list when funds become available.

So far, grant for 40 cars has been waived from the first round held at the beginning of last year, and EIC has already distributed this to the applicants in the second round. A total of EUR 465,000 has been paid out in first round support, with EUR 495,000 yet to be paid out.

The application round for supporting the purchasing of electric vehicles supported the purchasing of new fully-electric M1 and N1 category vehicles. The amount of support per vehicle was EUR 5000 and the price of the electric vehicle was a maximum of EUR 50,000 (excluding VAT).

The grant is provided using the proceeds from the trading scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowances, with the support measure having been developed by the Ministry of the Environment.

The Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications are currently in the process of developing a measure to support the adoption of low-emission vehicles.