Everyday electric vehicle mobility

Electric mobility is developing at a rapid pace in Helsinki. At the end of 2021, there were approximately 18,500 electric vehicles (EVs) in Helsinki, of which approximately 4,400 were fully electric. In addition, EVs accounted for approximately 8.5% of all cars in operation, and this share is rapidly increasing. Attitudes towards electric mobility are also becoming more and more positive: already more than half of the car drivers in Helsinki are interested in purchasing an EV. 

Electric vehicles make driving more sustainable  

According to many local EV users, charging at home or at work easily covers daily charging and travel needs. Those who drive more or live in the city centre can take advantage of more than a hundred public charging points in the city – a number which will continue to grow in the coming years.  

Recent research has shown that EVs are a more climate-friendly choice than fossil fuel vehicles across Europe. While manufacturing an electric car still produces more CO2 emissions than that of an equivalent petrol car, the benefits EVs come to the fore when looking at the vehicles’ total lifetime emissions. Studies show that EVs are responsible for considerably lower emissions over their lifetime than internal combustion engine vehicles, regardless of how the electricity they use is produced. In addition to climate emissions, EVs help reduce air and noise pollution in Helsinki.  

As most emissions come from use, not manufacturing, EVs will also be cheaper to use than conventional fossil fuel cars – even in less than five years. You can compare the life-cycle costs of different vehicles with the Finnish Climate Panel’s online calculator. 

Helsinki works actively towards decarbonising the transport system and wants to support citizens in the transition to electric cars. For example, the city gives a 50% discount on parking fees for EVs. Our goal is that, by 2030, at least 30% of Helsinki’s vehicle fleet will be electrically powered.  

Helsinki has a comprehensive electric vehicle charging network

Helsinki has one of the largest EV charging networks in Finland. The city’s goal is for public charging points to account for about 10% of all charging points in Helsinki. Semi-public and private charging points, on the other hand, cover about 90% of charging points. 

The logic of charging an EV differs from refuelling a petrol or a diesel car: it is best to keep your EV plugged in whenever possible. It is also a good idea to stop charging at around 80% capacity, as after this the charging will slow down significantly. With plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), regular charging is especially important for the environment, as driving emissions are high if the car has not been charged.  

A map of Helsinki’s electric vehicle charging network

Resident parking

There are currently about 100 on-street public charging points in Helsinki, which can be found in the city centre area. At the public charging points, the cars are recharged with renewable wind power. The public charging points are currently operated by Helen Oy. 

The public charging network will be gradually expanded in accordance with Helsinki’s general plan for public charging network development. This year, Helsinki has launched a tender for 50 new charging stations, which are to be completed by the end of 2023. Helsinki leases street space for the use of the selected bidder, which then implements the charging points and provides charging services to citizens. 

Destination charging

In Helsinki, there are also plenty of charging points located in shopping malls, sports and outdoor facilities as well as car parks. For example, the shopping malls Tripla, Red and Columbus in Vuosaari have a total of more than 500 charging points. Charging options are also available at many indoor ice-skating rinks and at the Urheiluhallit Oy sport centres: There are more than 45 charging points in 13 locations. In several parking garages, especially in the city centre, you can find charging points both for longer and shorter parking. 

You can also charge your car at the Park & Ride sites. Helsinki currently has charging points in seven locations: At Kulosaari, Puotila and Siilitie metro stations, Malminkartano Park & Ride, Pukinmäki Park & Ride, Puistola Park & Ride and Oulunkylä market square. 

Tourists will find numerous charging opportunities near the city’s attractions and sights. For example, travellers to Korkeasaari Zoo can charge their car at the Mustikkamaa charging points. Visitors at the Linnanmäki amusement park can find charging points in the Vallila parking hall, Messukeskus or Tripla. EVs can also be charged at Satamaparkki car park in Helsinki West Harbour.  

Fast and ultra-fast charging

There are also ultra-fast charging points in Helsinki, which have the capacity to fully charge an EV in less than 30 minutes. Next to the Suvilahti power plant, on Sörnäisten rantatie, there are two 150-kilowatt ultra-fast charging points. There are also 50-kilowatt fast charge stations in the Vuosaari’s Columbus shopping centre.  

Housing companies and workplaces

In addition to the public charging network, housing companies and workplaces are important locations for charging electric cars. Most EV charging is done at home overnight or at workplace charging. A grant is available from ARA for the construction of charging points both for housing companies and workplaces. Helsinki city and HSY advisers also provide free guidance to residents and housing companies on issues related to the construction of charging points. 

More tips for everyday e-mobility

Tips for choosing an electric car (Motiva) (in Finnish)

Information about charging an electric car (Motiva) (in Finnish)

Information about charging points for housing companies (Motiva) (in Finnish)

A webinar on charging points for housing companies (Motiva) (in Finnish)

Charging points at sports centres

Guide to charging an electric car at public charging points (Virta) (in Finnish)

Incentives and benefits

Electric vehicle purchase grant €2000 (Traficom) (in Finnish)

50% parking fee discount for electric cars in Helsinki

Grant for the construction of EV charging points in housing companies (ARA) (in Finnish)

Free advice on charging points for housing companies

Free advice on charging points for residents and housing companies (HSY)

Environmental impacts and life-cycle emissions

The environmental impacts of transport in Helsinki

Compare vehicle emissions and costs (The Finnish Climate Change Panel) (in Finnish)

The environmental impacts and recycling of electric cars (Motiva) (in Finnish)

National Battery Strategy

Responsible and sustainable sourcing of battery raw materials (JCR/European Commission)

The battery ecosystem of the future (Sitra)