60% of Finnish HDV fleet owners see biogas as viable fuel option, says survey

Heavy goods vehicle (HGV) fleet owners in Finland and Sweden see an environment-focused mindset as a permanent phenomenon, according to a recent survey commissioned by Gasum. The survey results revealed customers' environmental expectations have increased in both countries, and 82% of HGV fleet owners believe this is not a passing trend.

Gasum, a Nordic energy company, commissioned Value Clinic to conduct the survey on how Finnish and Swedish heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) fleet owners view environmental issues and their thoughts on alternative fuel solutions. The results showed 60% of fleet owners that have more than 16 HDVs view biogas as a viable fuel option in Finland in the near future, and 33% of Swedish fleet owners agree. Both countries agreed that biogas is a more viable option than hybrid of electricity solutions. Fleet owners also consider liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied biogas' (LBG) strengths to be fuel cost savings.

According to Gasum, the use of LNG and LBG in road transport is based on proven and reliable technology and results in significant cuts in carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, particulate and noise emissions. Jukka Metsälä, vice-president of traffic at Gasum, said: "I'm very happy that already today the large-fleet owners of Finland and Sweden see the benefits of LNG and LBG in road transport.

"If a company with 16 HDVs switched from conventional fuels to gas, this would mean significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as the annual emissions of one HDV are equal to those of 40-50 passenger cars.

"I strongly recommend that also small-fleet owners consider making the switch. This would be a great solution for hauling companies to stand out in a highly competitive logistics market."

The survey showed that nearly 60% of Finnish and 82% of Swedish respondents believe that some of their HDVs will be using low-emission fuel within five years. "Our observations align with the fleet owners': there's increasing demand for environmentally-friendly solutions in heavy transportation," added Jani Arala, senior manager of sales in Traffic at Gasum. "It's also clear from the results that this will not change soon, as only 18% believe that caring about the environment is a temporary phenomenon."

The European Union has set ambitious emission targets for HDVs, outlining that emissions of new HDVs must be reduced by 15% by 2025 and by 30% by 2030, compared to 2019. To support this goal, Gasum is expanding the gas filling station network in the Nordics. The survey asked fleet owners about the key factors that influence their choice of fuel partners. Both Finnish and Swedish respondents agreed the three most important factors are competitive pricing, ease of use and a comprehensive refuelling station network.

Gasum is aiming to build around 20 filling stations for HDVs in Sweden and Finland by the end of 2019 and to build 50 new filling stations in the Nordics by the early 2020s. The firm currently has a network of around 40 gas filling stations in the two countries, of which 11 LNG and LBG stations also serve the long-haul HDV sector. Other operators are also expanding in Europe. According to the Natural & Biogas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe), there are now approximately 218 HDV filling stations in operation and around 6,000 LNG trucks across Europe.

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