More than three million passenger cars registered in Finland – steady increase in vehicles with alternative driving power

8/4/17, 2:05 PM

There were about four million automobiles in the Finnish vehicle register at the end of June 2017.

Passenger cars accounted for 3.4 million of the total and there were also more than 400,000 vans, 150,000 lorries, and 30,000 other automobiles in the register. About 3.2 million of the registered automobiles and 2.7 million of the passenger cars were in traffic use.

The most popular car brands were Toyota (355,000), Volkswagen (297,300) and Volvo (218,000). Uusimaa was the region with the highest number of cars in traffic use (714,000), while Central Ostrobothnia had the lowest number (37,000). Grey, red and blue were the most popular car colours.

Over the last decade, between 90,000 and 140,000 new passenger cars have been registered each year. By the end of June this year, more than 60,000 new cars had already been registered, which means that the total for 2017 will probably be in line with the trend of the past ten years.

Registrations of new passenger cars 2007-2017**

** Registrations of new cars by 30 June 2017

At the same time, the number of cars in traffic use has grown steadily each year.
“There have been no particular trends in the number of new registrations as the total numbers are largely determined by the overall economic situation each year,” explains Toni Pallaspuro from Trafi.

The number of passenger cars in traffic use 2007-2017

Passenger cars in traffic use 2007-2017 as interactive Dexmen graph

At the same time, there are many “summer cars” on the road during the summer months, which means that the total number of passenger cars in traffic use in those months is slightly above normal. For this reason, the growth rate shown by the latest figures may be slightly too high.

“It is quite clear, however, that we are seeing a steady increase in the number of passenger cars in Finland,” Pallaspuro adds.

This means that the number of cars commissioned over the past ten years has been higher than the number of cars decommissioned over the same period. When the number of old cars in the Finnish vehicle stock exceeds the number of new cars entered into the register, the average age of the passenger cars on Finnish roads increases. In other words, the vehicle stock gets older.

Average age of passenger cars 2007-2017

           Cars in traffic          Cars in traffic (excluding museum vehicles)

* Figures for the year 2017 are from the vehicle register. They are preliminary and show the situation on 30 June 2017.

The emissions of new cars have decreased substantially over the last few years. This means that even though the car stock has become older, the average emissions of the vehicles have decreased at the same time. For more information about the emissions, visit the status reports of the Finnish vehicle stock produced by Trafi.

The emissions largely depend on the driving power. Passenger cars with alternative driving power usually generate lower CO2 emissions than conventional cars. The term “alternative driving power” refers to vehicles powered by other than petrol or diesel fuel.

“Even though the number of new vehicles with alternative driving power has grown quite dramatically over the last few years, they still account for only a small proportion of the total vehicle stock,” explains Pallaspuro.

Passenger cars by driving power on 30 June 2017

Note that hybrid vehicles without plug-in capability are considered as petrol-driven vehicles. There are currently about 20,000 such vehicles in traffic use in Finland. This means that there are almost 31,000 vehicles on Finnish roads that are not exclusively powered by petrol or diesel fuel. This is slightly more than one per cent of the total vehicle stock.

“It does not sound much but the growth has been quite rapid. In 2007, these vehicles accounted for only 0.02 per cent of the Finnish vehicle stock,” Pallaspuro explains.

Percentage of passenger cars with alternative driving power of the total vehicle stock 2007-2020

Since 2007, the proportion of vehicles with alternative driving power has increased by an average of 50 per cent each year. If the growth continues at the same rate, a substantial proportion of all cars on Finnish roads will be powered by other than petrol or diesel fuel in the near future. The chart gives a theoretical projection of changes in the percentage in the coming years.

“Increases in the number of vehicles using alternative fuels is also largely a matter of a more extensive range of models, as car manufacturers are offering more electrical cars and plug-in hybrids. At the same time, people’s attitudes towards new technologies are changing. As technologies become more advanced, consumers become less prejudiced,” concludes Pallaspuro.

Further information
Toni Pallaspuro, Head of Department, tel. +358 29 534 5395, toni.pallaspuro (at)
Mika Idman, Special Adviser, tel. +358 29 534 5222, mika.idman (at) (statistics)

Vehicle stock data
Vehicle statistics