Estonians least keen to buy an electric car in Baltics - study

  • 2020-11-17
  • LETA/BNS/TBT Staff

TALLINN - A total of 36 percent of residents in Estonia are giving consideration to buying an electric vehicle in the next 10 years, which however is a smaller ratio than registered in Latvia and Lithuania, it appears from a survey taken by Norstat in the three countries for Citadele Bank.

Also the ratio of opponents of electric cars is higher in Estonia than in the two other Baltic countries, with 16 percent of respondents in Estonia saying that they never intend to buy an electric car as they prefer using a car with an internal combustion engine.

The ratio of people saying the same was 13 percent in Latvia and just 6 percent in Lithuania. Respondents who would mull buying an electric car in the next ten years accounted for 36 percent of all respondents in Estonia, 39 percent in Latvia and 46 percent in Lithuania.

Marina Hakiainen, head of retail banking at the Estonian branch of Citadele, said the outcome is a little strange, as thanks to the carbon quota selling project in the past Estonia built a very strong lead over its Baltic peers in terms of electric cars and the electric car charging network.

"The network is being developed very intensely also now, and electric cars are very strongly favored in Estonia also when it comes to subsidies and incentives," Hakiainen said in a press release, highlighting the electric car purchase grant measure made available recently via the Environmental Investment Center.

It also appears from the findings of the survey that where 71 percent of Estonians view range and the time necessary for charging as the main obstacle to buying an electric car, the same is named as the main obstacle by just 51 percent of respondents in Lithuania, where distances are considerably longer.

Of Estonian respondents 38 percent believe than an electric car is not suited for Estonian climate, versus 14 percent of such responses in Lithuania. 

"True, Lithuania is situated a bit further to the south, but rather the outcome indicates that in Estonia more explaining still needs to be done when it comes to electric cars," Hakiainen said, observing that state-of-the-art electric cars are being successfully used also in the Nordic countries, for instance.

The survey was conducted by interviewing 1,000 people of ages 18-74 in each of the Baltic countries in September.