Making Espoo an electric car city in partnership with Fortum

Fortum Corporation, City of Espoo
Press release
21.10.2008, 12:45

Making Espoo an electric car city in partnership with Fortum

Fortum and the City of Espoo in Finland have launched cooperation aiming to
enable the wide-scale adoption of electric cars in the city and thus to
significantly reduce traffic emissions. A key component of the project is to
develop the infrastructure needed to recharge the electric cars in order to make
the adoption of them as smooth as possible when car manufacturers introduce them
to the markets in a few years.

In the first phase of the project during winter, Espoo will acquire three and
Fortum 8-10 rechargeable hybrid and battery electric vehicles for test use.
Initially, there will be five recharging stations for the cars. In addition to
testing different kinds of electric cars and recharging techniques, the project
will also focus on the infrastructure needed for the wide-scale adoption of
electric cars and on the different ways to pay for recharging, among other
things. The suitability of electric cars for use by taxis and public
transportation will also be studied. Fortum has a similar cooperation project
under way with the City of Stockholm.

Electric cars as part of climate change mitigation

The electric car project supports the sustainability targets of both Fortum and
the City of Espoo. Both parties want to actively mitigate climate change and to
work towards a low-carbon society. The cooperation partners believe there is
potential for significant usage of electric cars in Finland, and the adoption of
them can help to achieve the EU's climate targets.

”According to a study published last week, 75% of Finns believe that using
electric cars can help reduce emissions and energy consumption and thus curb
climate change. Our goal is to make the transition to environmentally benign
motoring easy for people”, says Fortum's Carola Teir-Lehtinen, Corporate Vice
President, Sustainability.

”The electric car project is an extension of the City of Espoo's long-term
efforts in environmental issues. As a result, Espoo residents have a healthy,
green living environment, clean drinking water and good waste management.
Espoo's merits include public recreational areas, the new Rantaraitti trail
along the Espoo shoreline, and the Nuuksio National Park. The city is an active
promoter of environmental technologies. On these grounds, the city is also
applying for the European Green Capital Award”, notes Espoo Mayor Marketta

“Among other things, Espoo has signed the voluntary energy efficiency agreement
for municipalities and has committed to implementing the climate strategy for
the Helsinki metropolitan area. If all 150 cars used by the City of Espoo were
electric cars, the carbon dioxide emissions into the air would be reduced by 270
tonnes per year. This would be a significant improvement”, Kokkonen adds.

Ideal for urban environments
The term rechargeable electric car refers to a plug-in hybrid or battery
electric vehicle that is recharged directly from the grid. An electric motor is
as much as three times more efficient compared to a conventional combustion
engine, and thus emissions caused by electric cars are significantly reduced. If
an electric car is recharged with electricity generated from renewable energy
sources, driving doesn't cause any carbon dioxide emissions.

Rechargeable electric cars can drive 50-200 km on a single charge with today's
technology, making them ideal for urban use where trips are short and driving
speeds are relatively low. So the electric motor can replace the gas engine in
situations where gas engines are most harmful to the environment.

Corporate Communications

City of Espoo

Additional information
Carola Teir-Lehtinen, Corporate Vice President,
Sustainability, Fortum
Tel +358 10 45 24118

Pekka Vikkula, Project Director, Technical and Environment Services/Suurpelto
Development Project, Espoo
Tel. +358 46 8772601