Within the next few years, the number of electric cars on Latvian roads will increase significantly. Within five years, almost a quarter of people, or 23 %, plan on purchasing an electric vehicle, while the leader in electric car use in the Baltics could be Lithuania, where there is the greatest public support, with 92 % of the public rating the use of electric cars favourably, according to a survey of residents of the Baltics by Citadele Bank and Norstat.
Within ten years, it is possible that 39 % of Latvians will drive an electric vehicle, according to the survey. The use of electric cars is more likely to be supported by women up to age 29 from Kurzeme and Riga, while internal combustion engine supporters are most often men over the age of 50 from Vidzeme with more than 4 children.
In general, public support for electric cars is high, and is also supported by those who do not plan on purchasing a personal car.
The survey of Baltic inhabitants shows that Lithuanians support the use of electric cars most strongly. Lithuanians were half as likely to say that they never plan on purchasing an electric car because they only support internal combustion engines: 6 %, compared with 13 % in Latvia and 16 % in Estonia.
An underdeveloped charging network, potential mileage and length of charge, as well as comparatively high initial expenses, were named by respondents in all three countries as the most significant obstacles to using an electric car. In Latvia, 63 % of respondents mentioned an underdeveloped charging network and 60 % mentioned potential milage and length of charge, while 54 % cited the high initial outlay. Meanwhile, other obstacles—financial stimuli, suitability for the weather conditions and living in a block of apartments—are half as important, according to respondents.
“By resolving issues regarding the practical obstacles named in the survey, electric cars may become part of our everyday lives sooner than we think, as the public is open to them emotionally and willing to use electric cars. If at first, several years ago, choosing an electric car was an emotional choice, the use of an electric vehicle is now based on economic reasons. Manufacturers are working intensively on new electric models: mileage will increase significantly, and the price difference will decrease. According to leasing applications, we see that the greatest interest in purchasing an electric vehicle currently comes from businesses. They appreciate that the use of leasing and no need for a deposit can reduce their initial outlay when purchasing an electric vehicle. Meanwhile, for households, an electric car is most often the second family car,”
– explains Pēteris Plaudis, Chairman of the Board of Citadele Leasing and Factoring.
Residents of the Baltics are of one mind about two of the main benefits of electric cars: the vehicles do not pollute the environment with emissions, and they have quiet motors which do not create noise. Baltic residents are split on the other benefits. Latvians highly rate other additional financial gains, like zero taxes, free parking spots and the ability to use public transport lanes. Meanwhile, in Lithuania, the third most important benefit of electric cars is named as the fact that it is an innovative future technology, while in Estonia it is the fact that they can be charged at home.
The survey of inhabitants of the Baltics on the use of electric cars was undertaken in the middle of September by research agency Norstat, who questioned 1,004 respondents in Latvia, 1,000 in Lithuania and 1,000 in Estonia. Respondents were aged between 18 and 74, and the sample was representative.
About Citadele Bank
Citadele’s mission is to modernise the banking sector and offer more opportunities to clients and businesses throughout the Baltics.
Alongside classic banking services, Citadele offers its clients a range of services based on next-generation financial technology, including its modern app, contactless payments and instant payments, and finally, being the first in the Baltics to introduce opening an account with a selfie, payment rings and payments to mobile numbers.
Citadele is the second largest bank in Latvia by assets. The Citadele group is managed from Latvia. Its subsidiaries and branches operate in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia.
Head of Corporate Communications
AS “Citadele banka”