Finland launches major testing project for electric vehicles and charging equipment

The project will create a charging network to enable the normal use of electric cars across five cities in the Greater Helsinki Region by the year 2015.

Tekes’ EVE programme is aimed at companies and research institutes that work with electric vehicles and machinery and the components and systems used in them. The long-term goal is to increase the amount of business related to electric vehicles and machinery from the 2010 figure of EUR 200 million to approximately EUR 2 billion by 2020. The objective is to create a charging network that will enable the normal use of electric cars across five cities in the Helsinki region by the year 2015.


The vehicle stock involved the project will consist of leasing vehicles used by companies and local authorities. Jyri Häkämies, Minister for Economic Affairs, has encouraged Finnish local authorities to take a leading role in the project by investing in electric vehicles and charging solutions. He believes that Finnish expertise in electric vehicle production and the development of battery and charging technology has good export potential in the future.


Finland’s Ministry of Employment and the Economy has given energy support grants of EUR 4.8 million to Eera Oy and EUR 4.6 million to Synocus Oy for testing projects on electric vehicles and charging systems which are part of the Tekes EVE programme. The central aim of both projects is to gain user experiences from the use of electric vehicles.


Eera Oy’s project will focus on infrastructure and traffic system solutions, electronic and user services, as well as business models. The project will include 180 cars, 50 vans, 10 service and transport vehicles and about 400 chargers. Major users of the leasing vehicles will include Nokia Siemens Networks Oy and the City of Helsinki.


Synocus Oy’s Eco Urban Living project will focus on manufacturing technology and the development of the sub-contracting network around it. Valmet Automotive is the major actor in the development of vehicle technology and Fortum in the development of charging technology. The project will include about 280 cars, 8 buses and 11 other vehicles, and its main clients include the Finnish companies Itella, Fortum and Huoneisto-markkinointi. In terms of charging equipment, the project will also include about 430 slow and medium chargers, ten quick chargers, and two chargers for buses.


Source: Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Tekes