The Finnish Ministry of Transport and Communications organized a round table on the green transition in heavy transport, to hear the views of various interest groups on the needs of heavy-duty vehicles and heavy transport in general when mobility is moving towards a fossil-free era. The discussion also focused on the current situation in the fuel markets, EU legislation related to fuels and vehicles as well as forms of support that promote the green transition in heavy transport.
In May 2021, the Government adopted a resolution on a roadmap to fossil-free transport, which lists actions to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from road transport. With regard to heavy-duty vehicles, the objective for 2030 is approximately 4,600 electric buses and trucks and approximately 6,200 natural gas buses and trucks. Other goals include a significant improvement in the coverage of natural gas refueling infrastructure. There are currently 11 LNG or bio-LNG refueling stations and nearly 70 CNG or bio-CNG stations.
In May, the Ministry of Transport and Communications appointed a working group to coordinate distribution infrastructure for new alternative transport fuels. At the moment, the majority of kilometers in heavy transport is driven with diesel.
The distribution obligation is currently the most important measure that promotes the use of renewable energy in heavy transport. Moreover, the green transition in heavy transport is promoted by supporting new transport fuels that offer alternatives to fossil fuels. “In addition to electricity, we also need other fuels. For example, the national biogas program aims at using the full biogas production potential. Especially the biofuel distribution obligation has reduced the greenhouse gas emissions of domestic transport efficiently,” said Minister of Transport and Communications Timo Harakka.
In addition to the distribution obligation, emissions reduction measures include the improvement of vehicle energy efficiency and the reduction of kilometers driven. Thus far, the energy efficiency of passenger cars has developed more quickly than that of heavy-duty vehicles. Background factors include the EU’s ambitious emissions limits for new passenger cars and vans.
The green transition is promoted with many different forms of support. For example, EUR 2 million is reserved for purchase support for electric vans in the 2022 budget. Support for converting cars to use natural gas or ethanol as fuel has been continued in 2022 and work to explore opportunities to expand conversions to vehicles other than passenger cars has started. In addition, many EU funding programs provide support for the green transition.
The implementation of the three-phase roadmap to fossil-free transport is under way. On 7 April, the Ministerial Working Group on Preparedness decided on the green transition package for 2022 and 2023. As part of the package, funding was allocated to measures included in the roadmap to fossil-free transport. Additional funding amounting to EUR 4 million will be reserved for purchase support for electric and natural gas trucks (Ministry of Transport and Communications).
Source: Ministry of Transport and Communications