TALLINN - Transport and e-mobility experts from Norway met with representatives of the City of Tallinn and Estonian experts in the field on Thursday to discuss how to boost electric mobility in Estonia and the Baltic states.
Topics discussed at the meeting included the need to change the tax system and subsidies for electric cars as well as expanding the electric infrastructure and charging network, organizers of the meeting said.
Head of the department for transport development and investments at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications Indrek Gailan said that it is important to look beyond Estonia and beyond the present moment when it comes to the development of environmentally friendly car transport.
"The criteria for the spread of electric cars is the availability of sufficient charging infrastructure both in the homeland and in neighboring countries. In addition, when developing solutions, we must take into account that the amount of energy that drives the internal combustion engine today will come from the electricity grid that serves us all in the future. This is also one of the challenges, and the need to develop it is transnational," Gailan said.
CEO of Moller Baltic Import Ilze Grase-Kibilde said that sustainable development in e-mobility is ensured by cooperation of the public and third sector and entrepreneurs as well as a shared understanding of the objectives and action plan.
"Norway, which is in first place in the world in terms of electric car use, offers efficient support measures at state level and rapidly develops infrastructure at local governments' and entrepreneurs' level," Grase-Kibilde said. She recommended that the Baltic states found an organization helping their transport sector pursue climate neutrality more rapidly in order to tackle all challenges.
In 2022, 79.3 percent of new cars sold in Norway were electric cars, in total there are nearly 600,000 electric cars in Norway, which is more than 20 percent of the total number of vehicles. There are more than 1,760 electric car charging stations in Norway. Meanwhile, there are nearly 3,800 electric cars in Estonia, and 6 percent of the new cars sold in Estonia in 2022 were electric vehicles. At the end of 2022, there were more than 8,000 electric cars in Lithuania and nearly 4,000 in Latvia.
A working group on sustainable mobility was created this month which brings together local experts from the public and third sector. The Estonian working group consists of leading experts in the field from the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, Transport Administration, Elektrilevi, Association of Estonian Cities and Municipalities, City of Tallinn, Energiauhistu non-profit association and Estonian Union of Co-operative Housing Associations. The Norwegian-Estonian Chamber of Commerce is likewise represented in the working group. The project is supported by the Norwegian embassies in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
The expert groups analyze the experience of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in the regional development of e-mobility and develop proposals on how to pursue climate neutrality in the transport sector, including by stopping the registration of new cars with internal combustion engines from 2035. The latter is an important part of the Fit for 55 package of proposals approved by the European Commission in 2021.