Mobility Basic Figures
Source: EU energy and transport in figures - Statistical pocketbook, 2010
According to findings of the EU funded project ALTERMOTIVE in Finland the passenger vehicles total stock has increased from 1.23 million in 1980 to 2.6 million in 2007. The share of gasoline cars is with 86% one of the highest in the EU. Finnish passenger diesel cars amount to around 370,000 or about 14 percent. The average age of the car fleet is 10.5 years, one of the oldest in the EU. Finland has with 22% the lowest proportion of non-private new car registrations in the EU. Finland shows the second highest tax on gasoline of all EU countries.
The share of alternative fuelled vehicles is marginal (less than 0.1%). The stock of LPG/Natural Gas Vehicle has grown from 0 in 2000 toward about 150 units in 2007 but is still very low compared to other EU countries. During the same period the stock of electric vehicles remain constant with less than 5 units. More actual figures are not available but until 2008 no hybrid vehicles have been sold in Finland. Also the figures of the EU funded Project BEST does not show any E85 flexifuel vehicle in Finland in 2009. In 2007 the average CO2 emission of all purchased cars was about 180 g/km which exceeded the EU average level of more than 11%. According to the Finnish Statistical Bureau in 2009 there were about 90,574 newly registered cars with a nearly equalised share between gasoline and diesel. About 75 units of these newly registered cars were alternatively fuelled (0.08%), of which 22 for natural gas. The average CO2-emission of this new fleet generation was about 157.3 g/km which is on EU average. It is expected that in the near future the average CO2 emissions of newly registered cars are approaching 150 g/km. According the Transport Strategy 2015 of the Finish Transport and Communication Ministry the CO2 emission of newly registrated cars should be 130 g/km in 2015.
In 2010, the petrol available in the Finnish markets contain up to 5% bioethanol. Two primary motor petrols are generally available in Finland: the most common grade is the 95 octane 95E5, the other common quality is the 98 octane 98E5. As of January 2011, the E10 petrol will be the principal petrol quality in Finland. Its bioethanol content may vary up to 10%. Alternatively, the E10 petrol may also contain ethers and other alcohols permissible under the Fuels Quality Directive. The E10 petrol will be suitable for use in most of the current vehicle stocks. At least two grades of petrol will be available for the Finnish motorists as of January 2011: the 95 octane 95 E10, and the 98 octane 98 E5. The latter corresponds with the current quality and contains up to 5% v/v ethanol. This petrol grade may also be called the “protection grade” in English (or “suojalaatu” in Finnish) because it is suitable for use in older cars as well as engines that are not compatible with the new E10 petrol.
The geoinformation system European Environmental Atlas lists two E85 flexifuel stations in Finland close to the Swedish boarder (the EU funded project BEST identifies 3 E85 flexifuel refuelling stations). No biodiesel and hydrogen stations are listed in this and other information sources. Furthermore, no public recharging point for electric cars are listed. The geoinformation system www.metanoauto.com/modules.php show 16 LPG/biogas refuelling stations, all located in the populated southern area, especially around Helsinki and Kotka.
The IEE funded project GasHighWay in detail describes the refuelling iunfrastructure for biogas in Finland (see country report). According to this methane refuelling infrastructure started to develop in 2003 when changes in political regulations made it possible to use methane as traffic fuel. Even before that in 2002 the first biogas upgrading plant and refuelling station was started its operation in Kalmari biogas farm in Central Finland. Today the refuelling stations are mostly in southern and eastern part of the country where the natural gas grid is located. The filling stations are covering the area, where high share of inhabitants are living in Finland. There are still big cities like Turku (in the south-west) and Oulu (in the north), where gas filling stations do not exist yet. Geographically the gas filling stations are covering only a part of the country. Practically people living South and south-east from Tampere and Jyväskylä are able to use methane as vehicle fuel when living or working nearby a gas filling station. In the beginning of 2010 there were totally 16 methane filling stations in Finland (see also www.metanoauto.com/modules.php). The newest filling station was opened in Lohja in the beginning of March 2010
According to the reform of the Finish Vehicle Tax Act from late 2007 (21.12.2007/1311) there was a revision to the car tax levied on passenger cars upon registration (registration tax) and to the annual vehicle tax levied on all registered vehicles (circulation tax). The revision set the tax rates relative to the CO2 emission resulting from the vehicle’s specific fuel consumption. Every gram of carbon dioxide affects the size of the tax rate. The car registration tax is payable on vehicles, which will be introduced or registered in Finland for the first time. The car tax is also payable, if the vehicle structure, use or ownership changed so that change is a result of car tax levied under the law of the car tax. The registration tax rate equal to not less than 12.2% and a maximum of 48.8% (registration tax formula is 12.2% + (x g/km)*0.122 and 48.8% for >360 g/km CO2) of the car value. For light buses (M2 class) a lump sum registration tax of 31.7% was set without specific CO2 taxation. For the van tax rate there is a kind of reduction mechanism conjunct with the freight transport capacity. The vehicle tax formula will further change in March of 2011 generating an even stronger tax incentive for cleaner vehicles. The tax rate is determined by the vehicle manufacturer's type approval announced. If a vehicle is not available in the manufacturer's declared emission data, tax rate is determined by the total mass of the vehicle and the use of force. This so-called imputed emission data are used to parents, for used imported cars and for new cars, which do not relate to the type-approval procedure and the provisions of community -level emissions measurement. Also the annual circulation tax is based on CO2 emissions and varies between 20 and 605 EUR. An assessment of the vehicle tax reform shows as results a higher proportion of diesel passenger vehicles and related to this increasing fine particulate emissions of about 35 tons annually compared to the situation without tax reform, which corresponds to about 7% increase in passenger car exhaust fine dust emissions.
Following the revised Liquid Fuels Excise Act (1472/94) for gasoline there is an excise tax of 0.6727 EUR/litre, fiscal charges and fees like CO2 tax of 0.054 EUR/litre and a Precautionary Stock Fee of 0.004 EUR/litre. Additionally, there is an Oil Pollution Fee on imports, which is 0.00042 EUR/litre. For diesel there is an excise tax of 0.364 EUR/litre and an Oil Pollution Fee on imports of 0.00038 EUR/litre. Natural gas is exempted from excise tax. On electricity there is an excise tax of 0.0087 EUR/kWh. There is a VAT of 22% on all types of fuel which is refunded.
The Finish Government funds the National Multi-disciplinary Framework Research and Implementation Program for green vehicle technologies and fuels TransEco. The TransEco research programme (2009-2013) develops, demonstrates and commercialises technology for improved energy efficiency and reduced emissions in road transport. There are in total some 20 individual projects related to vehicle technology, fuels, policy making and guidance, international cooperation and networking coordination, dissemination and communication. The research partners are VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Motiva Ltd, Metropolia Polytechnic, Tampere University of Technology, The Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Turku Polytechnic and the University of Oulu. The main financiers are Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology, the Ministry of Employment and the Economy, the Ministry of Transport and Communication with its agencies and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
With the Regulation 938/2000 Finland has introduced a passenger car energy label which allows the purchaser of every new car model comparable fuel consumption and emissions. The use of a label is optional but recommended. Energy label is visually similar to in household appliances A to G- rating, which has been found easy to use and informative. Best classes (A to C) meet the EU's CO2 emission target of 130 g/km. The best classes are presented in different shades of green and the worst yellow -red. Diesel and petrol engine cars energy label sections differ slightly, because diesel cars on the label are also involved in particulate matter. The labelling also shows whether the diesel particulate filter is part in the car or not.
In 2006 the Finish Government presented a draft law on promoting the use of biofuels in transport. This minimum volume increases year-on-year so that in 2008 it reached at least 2% of the total energy content of biofuels, petrol and diesel supplied for consumption by a fuel distributor. In 2009 this share reaches at least 4%, whereas in 2010 and subsequent years it was planned to reach at least 5.75%. So the obligation satisfies the reference figure for 2010 in Directive 2003/30/EC. The entry into force of the 2010 obligation will be separately enacted by Decree of the (Finnish) Council of Ministers. The obligation will enter into force, if biofuel quality requirements enable the addition in 2010 of biofuel percentages demanded by the obligation to petrol and diesel oil. A significant proportion of Finland's measures to promote transport biofuels and other renewable fuels are focused on the development of "second-generation" biofuel production technologies. The main funder of technology development in Finland is Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation. In spring 2007 Tekes launched the technology programme "BioRefine - New Biomass products". The programme started 2007 and will continue to 2012.
Public procurement is worth approximately 27 billion euros, of which the municipality’s value of contracts in 2008 was 14.7 billion euros. This amounts to approximately 15% of GDP. A multi-criteria analysis of PricewaterhouseCoopers, Significant and Ecofys from January 2009 for the years 2007/08 shows that 43% of all public procurement volume in Finland can be considered as green. In the transport sector (vehicle purchase) the average level of green procurement on the total procurement value (indicator 1) was calculated with about 30% as well as the share of single contracts comprising green criteria on the overall number of contracts (indicator 2) was also about 30%.
A new Public Procurement Law (348/2007 as well as 349/2007) came into force on 1 June 2007 defining the possibility to include environmental criteria in the contract award process. However, there are no binding environmental criteria for the vehicle purchase. Voluntary guidelines on green public procurement were adopted in Finland also in 2007. They contain energy efficiency, compliance with the latest EURO standard, eco-driving, alternative fuels, and the requirement of monitoring the energy consumption. These guidelines are tested in the recent past and may become mandatory at a later stage. There is the objective that until 2020, at least half of all new purchased or leased passenger cars by the public sector will have carbon dioxide emissions of less than 120 g/km and at least 25% will be under 110 g/km. Furthermore, those responsible for arranging public transport services within the scope of application of the Regulation on Public Service Obligations (PSO Regulation) must also take energy efficiency and emissions of buses/coaches into consideration in the procurement of road vehicles after 2012.
The § 11 of the new Public Procurement Law defines the specific provision for joint procurement of goods and services. Following this, on different levels and with different size and outreach there have been established joint procurement entities and cooperations. I.e. one of the largest cooperation in procurement is carried out on behalf of the Association of Finnish Local Institutions and managed/operated by KL-Municipal Contracts Ltd's as central procurement unit. Currently, there are customers of 220 different-sized municipalities and joint municipal boards across the Finnish country and also co-operations to 100 semi-public institutions (i.e. churches). The value of contract is currently about 50m EUR and is expected to increase to 300m EUR until 2015. Another example for a national wide acting joint procurement organisation is Hansel Ltd, a non-profit government entity with 55 procurement experts. It tenders and maintains the services and products on framework agreements mostly for central governmental organisations and state entities. In 2009 the company managed contracts with a value of 534m EUR including a considerable share for vehicles. On regional level there are similar organisations, i.e. the South Karelia Contracting Service which organise the procurement in the city of Lappeenranta and surrounding municipals. Usually, the joint procurement organisations issue multiple framework contracts for cars sellers which include among other environmental criteria. However, each of the different joint procurement organisations can set its own criteria and can follow own strategies in vehicle purchasing.
For improve the efficiency in public procurement, to encourage joint procurement as well as to give expertise worth regard to sustainable public procurement there was established the so-called “Public Procurement Advisory Unit”. It is a joint project of the Ministry of Employment and Economy and the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities. The Public Procurement Advisory Unit serves both municipal and state authorities as well as other public procurement units by providing them with free advice on the public procurement law, the application of the law, good practices in procurement and on the significance of strategic leadership for the provision and acquisition of services.
For European public procurement legislation of green vehicles the so-called Concordia Bus case was one important milestone. In 1997, the Community of Helsinki, decided to put their bus services out to tender. They used award criteria such as overall price, quality of the bus fleet and operational quality. Under one award criterion, companies could score extra points, if they could comply with certain emission and noise levels. On the basis of these extra points, the contract was awarded to HKL, which is the municipal transport company. Concordia Bus, a competitor who did not get the contract, opposed this decision, arguing that the emission and noise levels could not be used as award criteria as they did not bring any economic advantage to the contracting authority. In the Concordia Bus case, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) considered that award criteria relating to the level of nitrogen oxide emissions and the noise level of the buses, to be used to provide the transport service, did meet the requirement of being linked to the subject matter of the contract. Firstly, the ECJ was clear that award criteria need not be purely economic in nature:
"Article 36(1)(a) [of Directive 92/50] cannot be interpreted as meaning that each of the award criteria used by the contracting authority to identify the economically most advantageous tender must necessarily be of a purely economic nature. It cannot be excluded that factors which are not purely economic may influence the value of a tender from the point of view of the contracting authority."
The ECJ further stated that the principle of equal treatment does not preclude the taking into consideration of criteria connected with protection of the environment such as those that issue the main proceedings. On this point the judgment states:
"In the light of … Article 6 EC, which lays down that environmental protection requirements must be integrated into the definition and implementation of Community policies and activities, it must be concluded that Article 36(1)(a) of Directive 92/50 does not exclude the possibility for the contracting authority of using criteria relating to the preservation of the environment when assessing the economically most advantageous tender."
webpage of the Finish Ministry of Transport and Communication with general information and links related to clean vehicles
The website of Finland’s environmental administration with overall information on environmental policy and green public procurement.
website of the Finish Ministry of Finance explaining the taxation of cars/vehicles.
webpage of the Finish Custom Authorities with detailed information on the Finish vehicle tax system
webpage of the Finish Traffic safety agency with statistic on vehicles and vehicle emission
new car consumption data base
Finish webpage of the IEE funded top ten project with ranking of cars according to their environmental performance
webpage of the TransEco framework project on green vehicle technology and fuels
webpage of the Finish Public Procurement Advisory Unit
webpage of Motiva Services Ltd. a specialist company, which encourages energy and materials efficient and sustainable use including green public procurement which shows a high amount of information on clean vehicle
webpage for green public procurement and green purchase of private entities operated by Motiva Services Ltd.
webpage of the state owned joint procurement company Hansel Oy
webpage of the joint procurement company KL-Kuntahankinnat Oy
webpage describing the Nordic Swan product quality system including criteria lists for vehicle tires and biofuels
webpage information about the new biofuel E10 for cars