01.09.2023 - Green technology, Technology

2023: the year of growth for electric vehicles in Latvia

Comparing the number of new electric vehicles (EV) purchased in the first half of 2023 with the same period last year, demand has increased by 119%, with the total number increasing by 901 cars, according to figures on the demand dynamics for electric vehicles and charging infrastructure in the Baltics and Poland collected by EV charging network Eleport.

Figures show that Latvia’s swift EV demand increase is the highest among the Baltics and Poland. Estonia is in second place when comparing new EV purchases this year and last year, with 79%, or 644 new EVs. Meanwhile, Poland has the third highest increase, with 76% or 8,495 new EV purchases. Although the number of EVs there is much larger, the proportional increase is lower than in Latvia and Estonia.

Similarly, Lithuania has a greater number of new EVs than the other Baltic states — 1,009 — but the percentage increase is 72%, which places our neighbours in fourth place among the other countries surveyed. When looking at EV demand in Europe, the percentage increase of new EV purchases is more than half that of Latvia: 45%.

When looking at the EV market share of all new car purchases in the past six months, in Latvia this figure is slightly more than 9%, in Lithuania it is almost 7%, with more than 5% in Estonia and 3.5% in Poland.

“The swift growth in EVs in Latvia can be partially explained by several positive circumstances coinciding. One of these is government support, which has motivated many Latvians to choose an electric car instead of a petrol-powered one. It also cannot be denied that the supply across various price and size categories is incomparably larger, thus ensuring a sufficiently large market. But these circumstances are also applicable in the other Baltic countries and Poland, and we cannot say that Latvia has more support or opportunities. I assume that this is Latvia’s year for EV growth, as the number of EVs in the other countries is significantly larger and make up a larger percentage of the total personal vehicle segment,” believes Eleport Latvija CEO Kārlis Mendziņš.

Room for more charging infrastructure

In terms of charging infrastructure, Latvia falls slightly behind its neighbours. Among the Baltics, Lithuania has the most extensive charging network, with 1,018 stations. Latvia is in second place, with 532 stations, followed by Estonia with 311. In power terms, Estonia has the most fast-charging stations — 198 — while Latvia has the least, with 189.

Meanwhile, if we explore charging network access in the Baltics and Poland, we see a different trend. Poland currently has the best access with 9 EVs to one charging station, while Latvia has 9.6 EVs per station, followed by Lithuania with 9.7 and Estonia with 15.6. The European average is 7.1 EVs per charging station, showing room to grow in this region.

“New charging stations are announced almost every month, showing that increasing resources are being invested in the charging network to improve charging infrastructure access in Latvia. In a Baltic context, we can be proud of having one of the best figures, but there is still room to grow.

“There is currently a noticeable lack of fast-charging stations in city centres and slow-charging stations in commuter towns, which will be particularly in demand for convenient overnight charging in the not-so-distant future. We also cannot forget network availability in other rural regions, as EVs will become more in demand there too,” explains Mendziņš.

Source: Press release (www.labsoflatvia.com)
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