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Over a quarter of new cars sold in Finland are now plug-ins

While overall car sales dipped in early 2021, sales of new electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids rose by 57 percent.

Hybridiautot / Rintajouppi / Tikkurila 14.10.2020
Plug-in hybrids at a car dealership in Tikkurila, Vantaa, last October. Image: Jouni Immonen / Yle

In January and February, 17,545 new passenger cars were registered, which is eight percent less than at the beginning of last year. The February figure was only 1.2 percent lower than a year earlier, suggesting the market may be recovering, according to the Information Centre of Road Transport.

“The number of first registrations has not yet recovered to pre-corona levels. The order backlog for new cars was clearly below its normal level last year. The corona situation began to affect first registrations last March and the impact was greatest in April-June,” said Tero Kallio, president of the Association of Automobile Importers in Finland.

The growth in registrations of rechargeable cars continued in February, with approximately 21.4 percent of newly registered passenger cars being rechargeable hybrids and 4.4 percent all-electric cars.

More biogas stations on the way

On Thursday, Statistics Finland reported that 2,104 new electric and plug-in hybrid cars were registered in mainland Finland in February, an increase of more than 57 percent from a year earlier.

About 61 percent of newly registered cars were regular petrol-powered cars or hybrids without external charging capability. Diesel cars and hybrids accounted for 12.1 percent of the market.

Biogas vehicles accounted for 1.2 percent of registrations in February, the same as in January.

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Oranssitakkinen mies tankkaa biokaasuautoaan Mustasaaren asemalla.
A biogas filling station in Korsholm (Mustasaari) on Finland's west coast. Image: Yle/Johanna Ventus

There are just over 12,000 biogas vehicles in Finland, up from 3,000 in 2017. There are about 60 filling stations, with 18 more set to be built with investment subsidies approved by the Energy Authority early this year.

Altogether there are some 2.7 million passenger cars on the road in the country.

Fewer vans, trucks and buses

Registrations of new vans were down by 2.8 percent, while those for trucks and lorries sank by 13 percent in January-February compared to the early months of last year.

New bus registrations are still at a record low. In January-February, just 22 new buses were registered, 57 percent less than in the early months of last year.

Overall car sales dropped last year, with 96,417 new passenger cars registered, or about 18 new cars per thousand inhabitants. That was a significant decline from 2019, when 21 new cars per thousand inhabitants were registered.

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