Increasing the use of ethanol diesel in Finland - views of Finnish road transportation companies

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School of Business | Master's thesis
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Degree programme
Information and Service Management (ISM)
The target of this study is to examine how the use of ethanol diesel called ED95 could be increased in distribution and bus transportation sectors in Finland. ED95 has been developed for trucks and buses to decrease CO2 and other harmful emissions. The interest towards different biofuels and alternative fuel vehicles has increased during the last years because the threat of the climate change is real and the transportation sector is the second largest polluter worldwide. Ethanol could be a suitable solution for making the transportation sector greener in Finland. The reason is that it can be produced in large quantities from domestic wood-based feedstock which is one of the best options when decreasing emissions in the Finnish transportation sector. Ethanol diesel would also increase the energy self-sufficiency of Finland. Alternative biofuel should have environmental and economic benefits as well. In addition, the European Union and the Finnish government have set targets and requirements regarding the share of biofuels in the future. Other main biofuels in the market with ethanol are for example biodiesel and biogas. The technological features of ethanol such as emission reductions are well known and sustainability related problems in the transportation sector have been studied widely in the past. Transportation companies can use for example route and capacity optimization for decreasing emissions. However, there is a lack of information about views of a specific biofuel type. Especially transportation companies’ preferences and opinions about ethanol diesel have not been studied. The used research method was a qualitative case study and the data was collected by interviewing management level representatives from Finnish road transportation companies. The study suggests that more cooperation and communication are needed between fuel companies, transportation companies and vehicle manufacturers. The costs from ethanol diesel cannot be higher than costs from conventional fossil-based diesel. In addition, it is important to consider all the life cycle costs, not only fuel costs because the use of ED95 requires investments in new motor technology. Transportation companies see that the share of biofuels will increase in the future but monetary benefits must be proven before transferring from fossil-based fuels to biofuels. Transportation companies’ trust on technological features of ethanol diesel is at a good level but more research is needed. Especially how ethanol diesel affects profitability of transportation companies should be studied.
Thesis advisor
Bask, Anu
ethanol diesel, alternative fuels, biofuels, green logistics, emission regulations, climate change, triple bottom line, alternative fuel vehicles
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