Six questions for Andrus Kuus, CEO at Auto-Bon Baltic

There are many questions and misconceptions surrounding the purchase of electric cars. Here are answers to some of them by Andrus.

Why does the Estonian state not support the purchase of electric cars?

It is completely understandable why Estonia has formed such a position: we do not have a sufficient infrastructure. The Norwegian government also said no to electric cars at one point, because the infrastructure was stuck.

In my opinion, we could instead take the direction of Finland where internal combustion engines are taxed and the purchase of plug-in hybrids is supported. It is a very good option for the transition period, as city trips can be done in electric mode, but gas station fuel comes to the rescue for longer journeys.

Isn’t an electric car more of a luxury item for people with average income?

It is true that the manufacture of an electric car is up to 50% more expensive due to the battery, and not every customer is ready to pay a higher price. The price difference between a conventional and an electric car can be 20-30%.

In what phase is the purchasing of electric cars?

Rather, it is in the transition phase with the limited capacity of the battery and its price, as well as the insufficient infrastructure, needing to be solved. Innovation companies are working hard to create smarter solutions that would allow:

  • wireless charging of electric cars;
  • charging while driving on the highway.

The latter would immediately solve several problems: there would be no need to stop the car for charging or to take time for it, the need for large batteries would decrease and EVs would become more affordable.

What about e-mobility in commercial vehicles?

The purchase of electric vans and minivans is gradually gaining momentum.

If a company chooses e-mobility, it should think about fast charging at once. For example, if the courier comes to pick up the goods, they can gain as many kilometers as possible by charging for 20-30 minutes.

Innovative companies are already going along with this way of thinking and have set a specific period during which their car fleet will be converted to electric.

What fears are electric cars accompanied with?

Mostly how far you can drive an electric car. The most common mileage is about 300 kilometers, after which it will be necessary to charge the battery. The more powerful the battery, the greater the mileage, but the more expensive the vehicle itself. For example, Tesla is able to cover quite a lot of kilometers on a single charge, but their price range is noteworthy ...

Rather, fears are related to prejudices that are not true. Everything that is new feels alienating.

So, instead of fears, you have to deal with changing habits?

Our whole lifestyle is changing. Remember push button phones? It could be used for a week on a single charge. However, after the advent of smartphones, it was difficult to get used to having to charge them so often. Eventually, it became a part of everyday life.

I think it's the same with electric cars. The vehicle charges when not in use. If the network of chargers improves, then when you go to a department store, you will be able to charge your car at the same time; when you go to work, you will be able to charge your car there, etc. Currently, we are used to filling up the tank at a petrol station. It is not necessary to have the battery of your electric car always 100% full.

It's just a lifestyle change, nothing more.

If you are interested in more, listen to Äripäev’s radio show “Smart chargers allow electric cars to be charged at the best price of 24 hours”.