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 (biomethane) 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 methane 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 fuel stations for methane vehicles and charging points for electric vehicles is easiest in Southern and Southwestern Finland. In 2019 the electric car charging points could be found throughout the country, whereas Northern and Eastern Finland still mostly lacked fuel stations for methane vehicles. In 2020, the accessibility of the charging points for electric vehicles had increased steadily almost everywhere in Finland. However, the accessibility of fuel stations for methane vehicles had not significantly improved in other regions except in the regions of North Savo, South Karelia, and Ostrobothnia, where there was a significant increase in the accessibility.

Fuel Stations for Methane 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.



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.


More information

  • Senior Research Scientist Kati Pitkänen, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE),
  • Researcher Tiina Karppinen, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE),
  • Researcher Kimmo Nurmio, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE),
Published 2020-05-19 at 12:49, updated 2024-06-04 at 13:12
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