When you think of countries leading the way in terms of electric vehicle adoption, Norway certainly comes to mind, and probably also Sweden, the Netherlands, and Iceland. But Finland? No, Finland hasn’t historically had great EV adoption, but it is having a strong year, and last month showed a big boom in EV sales growth.
So far in 2019, plug-in vehicles (which includes fully electric vehicles, BEVs, as well as plug-in hybrids, PHEVs, but not conventional hybrids) are sitting at 6.5% of the broader Finnish auto market, according to our colleagues at EV Volumes. That’s one of the highest EV market shares in the world. November was a much bigger month than the norm, though, with the country seeing a 10% EV market share!
Like Sweden, the market is particularly fond of plug-in hybrids, as you can see in the charts above, so I’ll copy a line from the article about Sweden to speculate on why. I assume there are at least a few reasons for this — the long distances people might need to drive from time to time, the extreme cold, and general brand preferences in the country (with certain popular brands only or mostly offering plug-in hybrids instead of full electrics).
Volvo seems to rule Nordic countries (except in Norway, where the country now has a super strong preference for full electrics). Finland loves Volvo so much that the top two spots in terms of January–November 2019 sales were taken by Volvo models that have a tough time making it into the top 10 in most markets. Following those Volvo models, despite (ironically) just scoring 3 deliveries in November, #3 on the list is a familiar face, the world-leading Tesla Model 3.
The ever popular Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, a brilliant combination of electric utility and affordability, scooped up the #4 spot, trailed closely by the fairly popular BMW 530e. Sales then drop off considerably.
As you can, the only fully electric vehicles in the top 20 in Finland are the Tesla Model 3, Nissan LEAF, Hyundai Kona EV, Audi e-tron, and Tesla Model S. I’m somewhat surprised the Model X, which seems to get about 50% more sales than the Model S these days, wasn’t on the list. Maybe the Fins are concerned about how the falcon-wing doors handle the snow and ice? Perhaps they should talk to their Nordic cousins in Norway about that.
Will the Tesla Model 3 see a big enough surge in deliveries in December to take the #1 spot in Finland? That’s unlikely, but it’s hard to imagine the Model 3 not rising into the #2 position.
With 10% EV market share in November and 6.5% for the year through November, EV enthusiasts in Finland have much to be thankful for, but they also know there’s much work to be done — 1 out of 10 new cars being electric isn’t nearly enough.