Influence development of the electric car charging network

Press release 04.03.2022 12.05 fi sv en

Location and coverage of charging stations (Image: Finnish Transport and Communications Agency – Traficom and Ministry of Transport and Communications)

The Ministry of Transport and Communications has circulated a draft memorandum on development of the electric car charging network for comments. The memorandum assesses the current state of the electric car charging infrastructure, anticipated development, and the prospects for developing the national electric car charging network, especially at service stations. The commenting period ends on 24 March 2022.

The electrification of road transport is progressing rapidly, with the number of electric cars continuing to grow. The electric car charging network has also expanded significantly. Besides home and workplace charging, the public charging network for electric cars is contributing to the spread of electric cars.

Regional differences in the charging network

Renewing the vehicle stock and replacing fossil fuels with electricity and other energy sources will play a key role in efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from transport.

“The number of charging stations for electric cars is growing as road traffic becomes increasingly electrified. We are now seeking flexible solutions to cover regional shortfalls in public rapid and high-power charging,” says Timo Harakka, Minister of Transport and Communications.

“With new EU regulations for developing the charging infrastructure in preparation, we should be focusing more on providing carrots than sticks nationally. The charging infrastructure market is now growing rapidly. It has been a pleasure to hear about the plans that various operators have already formulated for developing the public charging infrastructure,” Minister Harakka continues.

Coverage of the public charging infrastructure is currently good in Finland, but there are regional shortcomings in the availability of rapid and high-power charging. The highest level of availability of public charging infrastructure is in southern and southwestern Finland, especially in cities and along main roads.

Three options for developing an electric car charging network in Finland

The Government Programme stresses the importance of the charging infrastructure at service stations. Some service stations already provide refuelling and recharging services for alternative fuels, including natural gas, biogas and electricity.

The draft memorandum sets out the objectives and guidance instruments of a charging infrastructure for various vehicles at national and EU level, and an assessment of the development of the charging infrastructure. The memorandum presents three alternative implementation approaches for further development of the electric car charging network. Option B is provisionally considered the most appropriate solution. Commenting parties are invited to express their views on the assessment memorandum, and on its three implementation options in particular:

A. Continuing current operations

The first option would be to reinforce the public charging network for electric cars by continuing current measures.

The Act on Equipping Buildings with Electric Vehicle Charging Points and Charging Point Capabilities and Automation and Control Systems (733/2020), known as the Charging Points Act, prescribes minimum requirements for constructing electric charging points and capacities in new and extensively renovated residential and non-residential buildings. Non-residential buildings currently in use with more than 20 parking spaces are required to have at least one charging point by no later than 31 December 2024. The Charging Points Act will therefore also influence development of the public charging point network.

The Act on the Distribution of Alternative Fuels for Transport (478/2017), known as the Distribution Infrastructure Act, promotes compliance of public recharging points with common technical specifications and the provision of adequate information to users on alternative fuels and their distribution.

Both of these laws reflect EU legislation, which is currently under review. The Charging Points Act implements the Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (2010/31/EU). The European Commission adopted a proposal in December 2021 to amend this Directive by tightening requirements for the construction of charging points and facilitation of their subsequent installation. The Distribution Infrastructure Act implements Directive 2014/94/EU on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. The European Commission adopted a proposal in July 2021 for a Regulation on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure that would repeal this Directive. The Regulation would seek to promote the transition to alternative propulsion in all modes of transport. The proposal sets out binding national minimum requirements for such aspects as the electric vehicle charging infrastructure.

B. Current operations and their reinforcement

This option would continue the national electric car charging network construction measures specified in implementation approach A. Greater efforts would also be made towards targeted planning of the national charging and refuelling infrastructure for all alternative propulsion systems. A national working group would be appointed for this purpose.

The working group would examine the need for constructing a charging and refuelling infrastructure for alternative fuels in road transport, including infrastructure compatibility, serviceability, availability of information, and energy network flexibility. The working group would also be required to update the national programme for an alternative transport propulsion system distribution network adopted in 2017, and to issue action recommendations.

C. New legislation

The third option would be to enact a new law requiring service station chains to construct recharging points at service stations. This duty could alternatively be prescribed by amending the Distribution Infrastructure Act. The duty could be limited in various ways, and could only apply, for example, to businesses in corporate groups and staffed service stations.

What’s next?

All organisations and private individuals may submit comments via the portal at www.lausuntopalvelu.fi or by e-mailing kirjaamo.lvm@gov.fi.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications will finalise the evaluation memorandum after the consultation round is completed. Based on comments received, the Ministry will prepare measures for developing the public electric car charging point infrastructure in Finland.

Evaluating a duty of service station chains concerning electric car recharging points is one of the measures of the roadmap for fossil-free transport. The roadmap seeks to halve the greenhouse gas emissions of domestic transport by the year 2030 compared to the 2005 level. The objective is to achieve fossil-free transport by the year 2045.

Inquiries:

Päivi Antikainen, Director of Unit, tel. +358 50 382 7101, paivi.antikainen(at)gov.fi

Emmi Simonen, Senior Specialist, tel. +358 29 534 2108, emmi.simonen(at)gov.fi