Front Page: Traficom
Front Page: Traficom

The scrapping premium campaign and the purchase subsidy for fully electric cars sped up the power source revolution

The purchase subsidy for fully electric cars and the scrapping premium campaign intended to reduce the emissions from traffic and accelerate the renewal of the vehicle stock were extremely popular. The purchase subsidy for fully electric cars was available from 2018 to 2022, while the scrapping premium campaign ran from December 2020 until the end of 2021. The Finnish Transport and Communications Agency Traficom implemented follow-up studies on the effectiveness of both subsidies.

In the studies, both statistical analyses and surveys of people who had received subsidies were conducted. The surveys provided interesting new information on the values, attitudes and mobility habits of both the users of fully electric cars as well as those who took advantage of the scrapping premium.

Electrically-assisted bicycles purchased with the scrapping premium have replaced driving

The scrapping premium campaign was the third of its kind, but this time the terms of the campaign had been significantly revamped, because the scrapping premium could also be used for public transport services or an electrically-assisted bicycle in addition to a low-emission car. 

Most of the premiums in the scrapping premium campaign, or 71%, were granted for purchasing an electrically assisted bicycle. 3% purchased public transport services with the premium while 8% used it for a fully electric car, 5% for a plug-in hybrid, 3% for a gas-operated car and 10% for a petrol or diesel car. 

Health benefits in everyday life drive the popularity of electrically-assisted bicycles

According to the survey conducted, people were inspired to purchase an electrically-assisted bicycle by a desire to exercise more and promote their health.

  • Research results show that electrically-assisted bicycles clearly lend themselves as replacements for car trips. According to our survey, an electrically-assisted bicycle is a versatile everyday vehicle. The bicycles purchased due to the scrapping premium campaign were used especially for commuting.
  • From a social perspective, the scrapping premium campaign was a fairly equal subsidy thanks to the electrically-assisted bicycles. They were also purchased by households in lower income brackets and different kinds of municipalities all around Finland.
  • With regard to public transport services, the timing of the scrapping premium campaign was unfortunate. The COVID-19 pandemic was in full force, which affected the desirability and usability of public transport, and therefore also the interest in using the scrapping premium to purchase those services. 

The purchase subsidy for fully electric cars fuels the power source revolution

The purchase subsidy for fully electric cars was popular; nearly half of the fully electric cars purchased from 2018 to 2022 had received the purchase subsidy. 

In 2018, only 0.6% of all passenger cars registered for the first time were fully electric cars, while at the end of 2022 their share had already risen to 17.8%. At the end of 2022, the share of fully electric passenger cars out of all commissioned passenger cars was 1.6% (44,889 pcs).

“It seems like the purchase subsidy for fully electric cars happened at exactly the right time with regard to the power source revolution. According to the results of the survey, the purchase subsidy has done its part to promote the transition into fully electric cars,” says Chief Adviser Anni Hytti from Traficom.

Driving costs and the environmental impact motivate electric driving

The survey also provided good information on electric driving in general. The survey showed that the motivators for the purchase of a fully electric car included the desire to reduce the cost of driving in the long term and a wish to reduce the environmental impact of one’s own driving. 

Based on the experiences of the survey respondents, the potential obstacles to fully electric driving that often come up in public discussion, i.e. the assumed difficulty of use or unsuitability to Finnish climate conditions, have not been realised; instead, those who had purchased a fully electric car were very pleased with their car and they felt that using the car was easy. Only the use of the public charging infrastructure was felt to be difficult due to the different payment practices and pricing principles.

Links to research

Note! The studies are in Finnish. Abstracts in Swedish and English are available.