Biggest EV parking facility is now being built in Helsinki, Finland

Article by Christian A., on May 8, 2017

We all know that Norway is currently the country with the most number of electronic vehicles around Europe, with a 33.5% market share - every third new car registration in March 2016 was an EV according to Inside EVs. Having said that, we wouldn’t be surprised if Norway also has the largest EV parking facility out there.

In fact, Bjørn Nyland, Tesla owner and EV enthusiast showed us a substantial EV structure in Oslo, Norway just last month - the parking garage is home to 100 AC Type 2 chargers and 2 DC fast chargers.

However, it is Finland that is making some noise today, as they are building the world’s largest EV parking garage in Salmisaari, Helsinki. Although there are only about 1,000 EVs in Finland, the state-of-the-art indoor parking facility will be more than twice the size what Norway has now, and can accommodate up to 250 electric vehicles at once.

This project is a partnership between Varma and Parkkisähkö Ltd. Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company is the most solvent earnings-related pension company in Finland, while Parkkisähkö Ltd is a charging services provider in a real estate environment.

The facility, located at Varma’s head office, began construction in April, and is scheduled to be completed and opened as soon as next month. Once operations begin, Parkkisähkö will be the one in charge of the transactions and “orders”.

Jiri Räsänen, CEO of Parkkisähkö said that this is the largest parking facility “to be equipped with chargers at nearly every sparking spot”. What’s nice about the facility is that it is eco-friendly, as power that comes in is generated via hydropower. The parking facility also caters to different users’ needs, and is equipped with high-speed chargers.

Toni Pekonen, Commercial Property Director of Varma, said that when the number of electric cars increases, more charging stations will be needed in areas where they spend the most time in. This had already been considered by the EU legislation to take effect in 2019 concerning the requirements of electric vehicles in properties and new buildings.

With this facility opening soon, it seems like Finland is ready to own over 1,000 EVs and still not worry about not having enough charging stations. Forecasts indicate that Finland will be home to about 250,000 electric vehicles by 2030. And now that they own the largest EV parking garage, there may be a exponential growth in this area. Sources say that the main reason why residents are holding back (with regards to purchasing an EV) is the lack of infrastructure. So by 2030, Finland will probably have more facilities like this if things go well for Varma and Parkkisähkö Ltd’s new project.

Press Release

Varma is preparing for the coming of electric cars: 250 chargeable parking spots under construction in Salmisaari parking facility

Starting in the summer of 2017, it will be possible to charge electric or hybrid cars at some 250 parking spots at the parking facility of Varma’s head office in Salmisaari, Helsinki. Varma and Parkkisähkö Ltd. are currently in the process of installing the charging system, which ranks among the largest in the world in terms of scope.

The installation work for the joint project between Varma and Parkkisähkö began in Salmisaari in April, and the construction work will be completed in June. Thereafter, the building’s users will be able to charge all models of electric cars in the parking facility. In addition to Varma, the Salmisaari property is used by Danske Bank, Lemminkäinen and Outokumpu, among others.

The parking facility houses approximately 250 parking spots, and all spots that can be electrified will be connected to the charging system. The smart charging system in Salmisaari’s parking facility will also be able to withstand the load caused by high-speed chargers. The charging device can be selected according to the user’s needs.

“This is one of the single largest parking facilities in the world to be equipped with chargers at nearly every sparking spot,” says Jiri Räsänen, CEO of Parkkisähkö.

The number of electric cars will grow considerably in Finland in the near future and, according to forecasts, there will be an estimated 250,000 electric and hybrid cars are on our roads by 2030. According to the automobile trade, the single biggest factor slowing down the sale of electric cars in Finland is the lack of charging stations.

“As electric cars become more common, charging stations will be needed in places where they spend extended periods of time. This has also been taken into account in the environmental certification of buildings, as well as in EU legislation to take effect in 2019 concerning requirements for electric vehicles in properties and new buildings,” Varma’s Commercial Property Director Toni Pekonen points out.

“Equipping the parking facility with electric car chargers also nicely promotes our target of reducing Varma’s carbon footprint; at the same time, it helps us encourage our tenants to opt for an environmentally friendly mode of transportation. The vehicles in the parking facility will be charged with green electricity, as the electricity in our property is generated by hydropower,” adds Pekonen.

When the installation work at Varma’s Salmisaari parking facility is completed, users of the building’s parking services will be able to order the recharging services they need from Parkkisähkö.

“We believe that the users of the Salmisaari parking services will value the flexibility of the service. With recharging offered as a service, the property owner’s role is highlighted, and at the same time, it promotes the quicker adoption of electric cars,” says Räsänen.

Parkkisähkö received product development support for the project from Tekes.

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