New building developments in Estonia must include electric charging infrastructure

March 15, 2021
By Eko Diena in 

Back in 2013, Estonia became the first country in the world to open a nationwide fast-charging network for electric cars.

This week the Estonian government is taking another step which shows how committed the country is to embracing electric transportation. From Wednesday onwards, all new developments and building renovations in Estonia will be required to be fitted with the infrastructure needed to add electric vehicle charging stations.

It seems like a very sensible piece of legislation as the number of new electric car sales across Europe continues to rise rapidly, and recently a number of more ‘traditional’ car companies have made a real commitment to an electric future. Ford will only sell electric vehicles in Europe, and Volvo will only sell them worldwide, by 2030. Jaguar have set a shorter time frame for change and will only produce electric cars by 2025.  While Jaguar and Volvo, like Tesla, remain high end vehicles, the transition from companies like Ford will mean that electric cars truly become mass-market.

Of course the adoption of electric cars on a much bigger scale will put a lot of pressure on existing charging networks, so countries across Europe will need to follow the Estonian lead and increase access to charging facilities.

Ivo Jaanisoo, head of the construction and housing department at the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communications, said "From 2025, the electric car will likely be a cheaper option than a combustion engine car. If buildings do not have enough charging capacity, we might be in a situation where people cannot turn to cheaper and more environment-friendly choices because we lack the infrastructure."

Whilst that pioneering fast charging network is still in place and has been expanded, using rapid chargers on a regular basis is not recommended by carmakers and may reduce battery life. Most manufacturers recommend that cars are usually charged on a slower charger, which is easiest at your home or office.

In addition to being able to plug in at home, new state regulations say that any office or other non-residential buildings that have at least 20 parking spots must provide at least one car charging point by 2025.

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