Accessibility of fuel stations and charging points for gas and electric vehicles

A quarter of the greenhouse gas emissions produced in the Finnish municipalities comes from road transport (Source: SYKE 2017) and it is also one of the most important sources of fine particle emissions (Source: VNK 2018, in Finnish). One way to reduce the emissions, especially at the respirating height, is to use alternative power sources, such as biogas or electricity from renewable sources in vehicles. However, the access to these services is not so far equal to all the Finnish people. In some regions the services are more accessible than in others.

We are monitoring the development in accessibility of fuel stations for gas vehicles and charging points for electric vehicles in Finland. We are calculating the distances for residents from home to the nearest fuel stations and charging points via road network using Digiroad road network dataset and building and population data from the Population Information System. The distances indicate the ease of access. In some cases, the distances can also indicate whether using the fuel is viable in the first place. Distances also describe the differences in services available for citizens in different regions. We are monitoring the development in accessibility annually, starting at the end of 2019. Our main sources of information include Gasum Ltd’s database for gas fuel stations and Sähköautoilijat association’s data on charging points in Finland.

The access to both gas fuel stations and electric car charging points is easiest in Southern and Southwestern Finland. The electric car charging points can be found throughout the country, whereas Northern and Eastern Finland still mostly lacks fuel stations for gas vehicles.

Fuel Stations for Gas Vehicles

Biogas production is a central part of circular economy

In Finland, biogas is produced from waste. Biogas can be upgraded into a transportation fuel, methane, that is used alongside natural gas. We also get fertilizer and soil amendment as side products from biogas production. That is how the nutrients from waste are recycled.

The accessibility of fuel stations for gas vehicles as the length of drive

The accessibility of fuel stations for gas vehicles as the length of drive
Fuel stations for gas vehicles are concentrated in Southern Finland at the end of 2019. In the Norther and Eastern parts of the country, there are long drives to reach the stations. Download large map (png). © SYKE/Circwaste, 2020

The accessibility of the nearest fuel station for gas vehicles as time distance from home with a car

The accessibility of the nearest fuel station for gas vehicles as time distance from home with a car
There were significant differences in the accessibility of gas fuel stations between regions at the end of 2019 in Finland. In Kainuu, Central Ostrobothnia, Lapland, North Karelia and North Savo regions, the entire population lived far away from the gas fuel stations. Download large graph (png). © SYKE/Circwaste, 2020

The accessibility of fuel stations for gas vehicles measured as the share of population living within a five-minute drive in each municipality

The accessibility of fuel stations for gas vehicles measured as the share of population living within a five-minute drive in each municipality
Using biogas in personal cars is easiest in bigger cities as well as in the Southern parts of the country at the end of 2019. In Northern Finland, the only fuel station for gas vehicles is in the city of Oulu. Download large map (png). © SYKE/Circwaste, 2020

Charging Points for Electric Vehicles

Out with fossil fuels – in with renewable power

An electric passenger car can save almost 70 % in greenhouse gas emissions compared to a gasoline car (Ilmastopaneeli 2019). The energy source for the electricity has a significant impact on the environmental benefits of electric vehicles.

The accessibility of charging points for electric cars measured as the length of drive

The accessibility of charging points for electric cars measured as the length of drive
The charging points for electric vehicles are accessible throughout the country, yet most readily in Southern and Southwestern Finland at the end of 2019. Download large map (png). © SYKE/Circwaste, 2020

The accessibility of the nearest charging point for electric vehicles as time distance from home with a car in each region

The accessibility of the nearest charging point for electric vehicles as time distance from home with a car in each region.
The differences between Finnish regions in the accessibility of electric car charging points were smaller than the differences in accessing the gas fuel stations. From the population, 75–100 % lived at the maximum of a 20-minute drive away from the charging points. Download large graph (png). © SYKE/Circwaste, 2020

The accessibility of charging points for electric vehicles measured as the share of population living within a five-minute drive in each municipality

The accessibility of charging points for electric vehicles measured as the share of population living within a five-minute drive in each municipality
The accessibility of charging points for electric vehicles is not equal within the regions in 2019. The charging points are least accessible to people living in towns further away from centres of growth, particularly in the municipalities in Eastern and Northern Finland as well as in Central Finland, Ostrobothnia, and Southwest Finland. Download large map (png). © SYKE/Circwaste, 2020

More information

  • Senior Research Scientist Kati Pitkänen, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), firstname.lastname@syke.fi
  • Researcher Tiina Karppinen, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), firstname.lastname@syke.fi
  • Researcher Kimmo Nurmio, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), firstname.lastname@syke.fi
Published 2020-05-19 at 12:49, updated 2021-03-31 at 11:06
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