The Baltic countries, including Latvia and Lithuania, are making significant progress in expanding their public electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. According to Ansis Valdovskis, head of Latvenergo’s Electric Vehicle Charging Network, the ratio of EV charging stations to registered electric vehicles in Latvia is 2.38 to 10, while in Estonia it is 0.57 and in Lithuania it is 0.93.
The European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) reports that in June 2023, electric cars accounted for 15.1% of the European car market, surpassing diesel cars for the first time. Petrol cars accounted for 36.3% of the market, while hybrids were at 24.3%.
The expansion of the public charging infrastructure is in line with the economic processes and financial means available. Both individual owners and companies are adapting to electric vehicles as an alternative to internal combustion engines. This includes international companies like DHL and DPD, as well as local companies, who have chosen electric cars based on financial considerations.
The public charging network in the Baltics is rapidly growing, with new players entering the market. Virši and Enefit are joining the existing companies like e-mobi and Elektrum in expanding their networks. It is expected that the number of charging stations will grow to 2,000-3,000 in the foreseeable future.
Latvenergo has set up a new brand called Elektrum Drive, which has installed the highest number of charging ports in Latvia over the past year. The charging network offers stations with power ranging from 22 kW to 300 kW and more in DC units. This enables reliable and risk-free travel in electric vehicles not only within Latvia but also to neighboring countries. Latvenergo plans to build 35 more high-capacity charging stations in the coming years, capable of charging cargo vehicles as well.
The biggest challenge for the future is providing electric vehicle charging infrastructure for existing apartment buildings. Bureaucratic obstacles make it difficult to obtain the necessary land for charging stations in shared ownership or municipality-owned courtyards. However, in new neighborhoods and detached houses, developers are already providing charging infrastructure. Installing private charging stations at home is also a popular and convenient option.
Overall, the expansion of the public charging infrastructure, as well as the availability of private charging solutions, is driving the popularity of electric vehicles in the Baltics.
– Baltic Business Quarterly