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Survey highlights HDV fleets’ desire for low-emissions fuel

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Hydrocarbon Engineering,

The Nordic energy company Gasum recently commissioned Value Clinic to conduct a survey analysing how environmental issues and various fuel solutions are viewed by Finnish and Swedish heavy-duty vehicle (HDV) fleet owners. According to the results, customers’ environmental expectations have increased in both Finland and Sweden, and 82% of fleet owners in both countries agree that an environment-focused mindset is a permanent phenomenon and not a passing trend. LNG and liquefied biogas (LBG) are low-emission fuel alternatives for road transport that are also cost effective.

60% of fleet owners that have more than 16 HDVs see biogas as a viable fuel option in Finland in the near future, and 33% of Swedish large-fleet owners agree. In both countries, large-fleet owners see biogas as a more viable option than hybrid or electricity solutions. 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 dioxide, particulate and noise emissions.

“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,” says Jukka Metsälä, Vice President, Traffic, Gasum.

According to the survey, fleet owners consider LNG and LBG’s strengths to be the fuel cost savings, emission reductions and the constantly expanding filling station network.

The results also show that over half of all fleet owners in Finland and Sweden have witnessed an increase in environmental expectations from their customers over the last few years. In addition, nearly 60% of Finnish and 82% of Swedish respondents believe that some of their HDVs will be using a low-emission fuel in five years’ time and are interested in introducing alternative fuels in their operations.

“Our observations align with the fleet owners’; there’s increasing demand for environmentally friendly solutions in heavy transportation. 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,” Jani Arala, Senior Manager, Sales, Traffic, Gasum, points out.

Road transport emissions is a highly topical issue, as the EU has set ambitious emission targets for HDVs. The legislation dictates that emissions of new HDVs need to be reduced by 15% by 2025 and by 30% by 2030 compared to 2019.

The survey also asked fleet owners about the most important factors that influence their choice of fuel partners. Both Finnish and Swedish respondents agreed that the three most important factors are competitive pricing, ease of use and a comprehensive refuelling station network.

“We’re taking determined steps in building a comprehensive filling station network in the Nordics. We're aiming to build around 20 filling stations for HDVs in Sweden and Finland by the end of the year and to build a total of 50 new filling stations in the Nordics by the early 2020s. This will increase the availability of gas and will allow even more fleet owners to choose low-emission LNG and LBG as a fuel and, at the same time, make significant fuel cost savings,” says Mikael Antonsson, Director, Traffic, Gasum Sweden.

So far, Gasum has a network around 40 gas filling stations in Finland and Sweden, of which 11 LNG and LBG stations also serve the long-haul HDV segment. In addition, other operators are expanding the filling station network in Europe, and, according to NGVA Europe, there are now about 218 HDV filling stations in operation, and around 6000 LNG trucks across Europe.

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