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EVE (Electric Vehicle Systems Program)

In August 2009, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy published a task force memorandum entitled “Electric Vehicles in Finland”. This memorandum focused on new business opportunities arising from electric vehicles, electric working machinery, and related components.

Following up on the recommendations in the memorandum, Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation, started the Electric Vehicle Systems Program (EVE). The program will run from 2011--2015 with a total budget of €80 million, with slightly less than half the funding from Tekes and the remainder from private sources.

The program will enable the creation of large test platforms for pilot and demonstration projects related to electric vehicles and electric working machinery. The objective is research and demonstration of the functionality and performance of components, subsystems, and complete electric vehicles, in both technical economic terms. The demonstrations will also cover related systems and services for charging infrastructure and new service concepts related to electric vehicles.

Electric vehicles study

In 2010, the Ministry of Transport and Communications contracted with VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland to evaluate the future of electric vehicles in Finland in the transport and climate policy context.

VTT Research Professor Nils-Olof Nylund authored the report. Findings from the study were presented in early 2011. At the end of the report, recommendations are given for various actions and measures and the order for implementation. It also states that Finland should strive to have some 2,000 electric vehicles in service as soon as possible, and that the Finnish government should support these vehicles financially as part of a research/demonstration project.

 VTT Electric Vehicle Study Highlights
authored by VTT Research Professor Nils-Olof Nylund   

  • EVs impact in contributing to the 2020 targets in energy and climate policy will be limited due to the primary use of biofuels to reach those targets. However, the situation will change markedly by 2030 and especially by 2050s.  

  • Even if the EV market may still be modest in 2020, it is time to begin considering factors to support the rollout of EVs, including, for example, addressing EV battery charging systems in construction and building regulations.  

  • Public charging infrastructure is needed in order to provide all motorists’ equal opportunity and access to EVs. However, as driving distances in Finland are quite long, plug-in hybrids may prove to be a more practical and cost-effective solution than pure battery-only EVs, which are more suited to short-distance driving in the urban environment.  

  • Electricity generation capacity does not limit the growth of EV park (total number of EVs in Finland), but when the vehicle numbers exceed a critical threshold of penetration within local areas, the timing of the charging must be carefully controlled. Otherwise, EV charging increases the need for peak power and raises grid load.  

  • The average carbon intensity of the electricity supply is quite low, and therefore the implementation of EVs will eventually reduce CO2 emissions from transport.  

  • From the point of view of transport policy and cost-effectiveness, it is not justified to immediately take measures to maximize EV market penetration, because the price of electric vehicles is expected to decrease and overall performance to improve over time.