World’s Largest EV Parking Garage Opens In Finland In June

6 months ago by Steven Loveday 15

EV Charging

Varma 250-spot charging facility in Salmisaari, Helsinki (Image Credit: Varma)

Though Finland is home to only about 1,000 EVs, construction is underway on a 250-spot EV parking garage.

Bjørn Nyland showed off another substantial structure in Oslo, Norway recently (~100 spots). As far as we were concerned, it was the largest EV parking facility we had ever seen or heard about. Now, Finland is planning ahead, and its new state-of-the-art, 250-spot indoor structure will be more than twice as large.

EV Charging

Bjørn Nyland provided video footage of a similar structure in Oslo, Norway.

The facility is currently under construction at Varma’s head office in Salmisaari, Helsinki. Work began in April, and is set to be completed by June. The project is a partnership between Varma and Parkkisähkö Ltd. Once the facility is complete, Parkkisähkö will handle user transactions for “ordering” the necessary charging. CEO of Parkkisähkö., Jiri Räsänen shared:

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

The structure will be equipped to handle the load of high-speed chargers. Various chargers will be available to fit different users’ needs. All power to the property is generated via hydropower, so it is a truly “green-friendly” facility.

Forecasts predict about 250,000 EVs on Finland’s roads by 2030. Growth could come even faster with this type of infrastructure development. Automotive sources in Finland point to the lack of infrastructure as the only real factor holding back EV adoption in the area.

Toni Pekonen, Varma’s Commercial Property Director, said:

“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.”

“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.”

Räsänen concluded:

“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.”

About Varma and Parkkisähkö Ltd.

Varma Mutual Pension Insurance Company is the most solvent earnings-related pension company and largest private investor in Finland. The company is responsible for the statutory earnings-related pension cover of some 873,000 people in the private sector. Premiums written totalled EUR 4.7 billion in 2016 and pension payments stood at EUR 5.3 billion. Varma’s investment portfolio amounted to EUR 44.4 billion at the end of March 2017.

Parkkisähkö Ltd. is a charging services provider for electric cars in a real estate environment. The company specialises in electric vehicle technology for parking areas in large-scale properties. Parkkisähkö was established in 2014 and employs some 20 people. The company aims to enable rapid growth in the number of electric vehicles by offering a scalable, cost-effective and smart charging service developed in Finland.

Hat tip to Jiri Räsänen for sharing!

Source: Varma

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15 responses to "World’s Largest EV Parking Garage Opens In Finland In June"

  1. Go Finland Go! They are gonna be the next Norway! 🙂

  2. Kevin C. says:

    I would be somewhat reluctant to park at a designated “sparking spot” 😉

    1. James says:

      Ppphhhhttttt!

      Come on, man…

  3. James says:

    This is big news.

    The one tricky spot is sometimes getting the timing wrong. Let’s hope Finland got this right, and installations like this encourage EV consumer uptake.

    Here in the USA, Costco advertised it had added charging stalls at many of it’s California stores and a couple in Phoenix.Of course, this was 2005, after all the EV 1s and Honda EVs were all crushed by then. I think there were a dozen Rav4EVs and a handful of Ford Ranger EVs that made it into private hands roaming about, amongst a smattering of homebuilts.

    Naturally, these valuable parking spaces were never used and the chargers were constantly blocked with shopping carts or gas cars.

    Costco soon removed all the chargers and today, when you call their headquarters and ask, they say they have no plans to install any. I look at their parking lot at my local store today and see several LEAFs, two i3s, a Volt and a couple of Teslas!

    I’m glad Finland has this facility, but it would make more sense in Norway today.

    Is it a case of, “build them and they will come”?

    1. Sbceezie says:

      In Salt Lake City, (home to the largest Costco in the world), they have installed 6 Sema Connect stations that charge at 6.6kW. They have done a decent job with signage etc. Maybe it depends on the store manager?

      1. James says:

        That is good news.

        Apparently corporate isn’t against an individual store implementing chargers, or it may be a pilot program?

  4. Brendan says:

    How awesome Finland! These types of projects will help change the amount of EVs in Finland. Can’t wait to see how it works.

  5. Brandon says:

    I think the most valuable public EV charging infrastructure is DCFCing, i.e. HPFC multi stall 150 kW ChargePoint Express Plus fast charger style setups.

    That’s what’s going to help EVs be attractive to mainstream consumers and really be useful.

    Then the biggest challenge is apartment dwellers and city dwellers getting charging at home. Curbside charging… now that’s not easy!!
    But it’s a necessity in owning an EV.

    1. Per “Curbside charging… now that’s not easy!!” It does not seem that it would be that difficult, compared to putting in 6 foot diameter concrete sewer pipes beside a road, or trolly tracks in the middle of a street!

      For EVSE Installs, a 40 Amp Circuit Breaker supplies power to a 32 Amp EVSE, so charging is set at 80% of the Breaker Power.

      So, a 400 Amp (240 Volt) service can provide power to 10 of the 32 Amp Charging Stations. 4000 Amps for 100 stations at 32 Amps Each.

      Might want about 4-5 DC Fast Chargers per 100 Level 2 Stations, I suspect, too!

      1. Bill Howland says:

        “…So, a 400 Amp (240 Volt) service can provide power to 10 of the 32 Amp Charging Stations. 4000 Amps for 100 stations at 32 Amps Each…”

        Your numbers don’t add up: 99 stations (to keep things ballanced, is 1829 amperes)

      2. Bill Howland says:

        Another thing: Utilities in the States don’t have the capability to supply 720 kw single-phase with standard equipment. Utilities in the states limit single-phase loading varying from 48-192 kw depending on the particular utility. The recommended supply for this quantity of power (100 wallboxes) is from a 120Y/208 system.

        Its recommended because most US wallboxes require 120 volts to earth from the power legs. If wallboxes would consistently allow 240 volts to ground, a 240 volt delta system or preferably a 240Y/416 system would greatly reduce distribution expense for the larger wallbox installations.

        1. Brandon says:

          By saying curbside charging is not easy, what I mean isn’t that the power requirements aren’t easy, but actually installing your own charger in front of your house on a city street is a whole different matter with it’s extreme challenges of legislation etc. THAT is a big issue. Currently it’s not possible to do so in Philadelphia, one of our largest cities.

          http://planphilly.com/articles/2017/04/06/council-pulls-plug-on-philadelphia-s-electric-vehicle-program-in-rare-contested-vote

          1. Bill Howland says:

            Oh, no problem, I didn’t have any problem with what you said, I was commenting and trying to correct Weekley’s technical inaccuracies – of which apparently many think that ‘home electrics’ may be simply scaled up 10 or 100x, which is far from the truth.

      3. Bill Howland says:

        But unlike Europe, apparently many commenters here do not appreciate that commercial buildings are not simply ‘scaled up’ houses.

        Too many pretend they do, but then they open their mouths and eliminate all doubt.

  6. anon says:

    This is the biggest public charging garage, but I think several of the tech companies in Silicon Valley have larger installations for employees.

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