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Survey: Almost half of car buyers would consider an electric or hybrid vehicle

The Autobarometer 2021 survey also found that Finland's young people were becoming more interested in car ownership.

Julkisissa latauspaikoissa sähköautot voivat tasapainottaa sähköverkkoa. Kotona niitä voisi käyttää myös halvan sähkön varastona.
More people than ever would consider buying an electric car, the survey claimed Image: Petteri Juuti / Yle

The coronavirus pandemic has reversed a trend that saw young people's interest in owning a car wane, a new survey released on Friday claims.

The Autobarometer 2021 survey found that people under 36 years old were most likely to have increased their car use and reduced their use of public transport.

Around a quarter of young adults in Finland said they had increased their car use in the last year, compared to 16 percent of the population as a whole.

Almost half of those surveyed in Finland said the Covid-19 pandemic had no impact on their travel habits, while 29 percent said it had led to them cutting their use of public transport.

"The coronavirus has broken the trend where young people preferred to travel by public transport or by renting a car when necessary," said Altti Kuuri of Danske Bank, which has commissioned the annual survey since 2013.

"The popularity of private cars fell sharply until 2019, when just over half of young people saw themselves driving their own car in five years' time, down from 82 percent in 2015. Now, 60 percent of young people want to have their own car in five years' time," Kuuri said.

Alternative power sources on the rise

While the thought of a new generation of petrolheads may raise concerns about the impact cars have on the environment, the new survey also found that people in Finland were more open to buying a hybrid, electric or biogas vehicle than ever before.

Almost half of those considering buying a car were thinking of buying an electric, hybrid or biogas-powered one. A year ago, that figure was 39 percent. In 2015, it was just 15 percent.

"Media attention, technological advances and environmental awareness have clearly increased interest. Lower fuel costs have overtaken lower emissions as the main reason to buy an alternative car," Kuuri said.

However, most of those surveyed said that the high cost of hybrids, EVs and other alternatives to internal combustion engine vehicles put them off making the switch.

For people in northern Finland, the lead concern was the range of such vehicles when compared to petrol or diesel equivalents.

26.9: Corrected headline to include hybrids.

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