Finland looks ahead to a future of fossil fuel-free transport

More electric cars, research and development opportunities for other fuel alternatives and more efficient public transport are required, say new report.

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File picture of cars in car park, taken from above / Credit: iStock

Are you ready to give up using fossil fuels to get you from A to B?

That future scenario is coming faster than you might think.

Finland’s Ministry of Transport has published a new study today which outlines a three-tier plan to make the country carbon neutral for traffic by 2045.

The ministry joined together with representative from Finnish universities and businesses to come up with some solutions.

“It is urgent to launch a major emission reductive action right now if we want tackle the global consequences of climate change. We also have to be able to make some difficult decisions” says Juhapekka Ristola, head of the ministry’s working group on the topic.

The new report proposes three distinct scenarios to get Finland to drastically reduce the amount of fossil fuels we use:

  • Use more electric vehicles for transport solutions;
  • Stop using fossil fuels and switch to other types of fuel;
  • Boost the use of public transport to reduce emissions.

Technology solutions explored

In the ministry’s grand vision of the future, electric cars play a prominent role.

This means more investment is needed in research and development to drive the number of electric cars up to around 2.6 million, and the number of cars using gas up to around 200,000 by 2045 according to the Director General of the Finnish Transport Safety Agency Trafi.

“Almost all the cars could be emission friendly in 2045 if we used all the potential we have, but that is of course an extreme scenario” explains Mia Nykopp.

The big challenge will be to replace all the existing cars with new fossil fuel-free or low emission vehicles – a natural attrition that can only happen over time.

Discovering bio fuel possibilities 

Another key area to develop according to the new survey is to abandon fossil fuels completely and put renewable or low-emission fuels into everyday use.

The problem here will be availability and the price point for sustainably produced biofuels.

Experts say demand for bio fuels will also increase when the airline industry starts using them more regularly. .

Better public transport

The third track which the ministry’s report explores is how to improve the energy efficiency of Finland’s transport networks, including public transport.

“In that scenario all the traffic would decrease as a result of, for example, more effective public transportation, shared cars and other mobility services” Nykopp tells News Now Finland.

As Finland’s transportation is responsible for about 20% of all emissions, the question of its impact on the environment, how it contributes to the global problem of climate change, and how we can take steps to change our transport habits will continue to be a topic for discussion in the coming years.