A1 Journal article (refereed)
The emission reduction potential of electric transport modes in Finland (2021)

Jenu, S., Baumeister, S., Pippuri-Mäkeläinen, J., Manninen, A., & Paakkinen, M. (2021). The emission reduction potential of electric transport modes in Finland. Environmental Research Letters, 16(10), Article 104010. https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac2440

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Jenu, Samppa; Baumeister, Stefan; Pippuri-Mäkeläinen, Jenni; Manninen, Aino; Paakkinen, Marko

Journal or series: Environmental Research Letters

eISSN: 1748-9326

Publication year: 2021

Publication date: 07/09/2021

Volume: 16

Issue number: 10

Article number: 104010

Publisher: Institute of Physics Publishing

Publication country: United Kingdom

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac2440

Publication open access: Openly available

Publication channel open access: Open Access channel

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/77919


The transportation sector has become the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. One solution to mitigate the impacts is a shift towards electric modes. Where previous studies have only focused on the replacement of individual modes, our study presents a more holistic approach by comparing land-based, water-based and airborne transportation modes. We study the GHG emission reduction potentials of electric cars, buses, trains, ferries and aircraft in comparison to existing modes on 34 routes within Finland and across the Baltic Sea to Sweden and Estonia. By comparing the GHG emissions in carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2-eq) per passenger kilometer for each mode, we also consider the emissions generated from battery production as well as the differences in the energy mix from electricity production of the three studied countries. In addition to CO2-eq emissions per passenger kilometer, we also take real door-to-door travel times into account. Our study found that electric transportation modes possess great potential for emissions reduction. Nevertheless, depending on the energy mix used for electricity production, the emissions of electric transportation modes can exceed those of existing modes significantly. In addition, the emissions generated by battery production can have a significant share of the total emissions and should therefore always be considered. Finally, while also taking into account the door-to-door travel times, our study the great potential of electric aircraft to provide a less carbon intensive transportation option paired with short travel times starting on routes beyond 300 km where no high-speed rail exists as well as on routes across the water.

Keywords: road traffic; rail traffic; shipping; air traffic; electric vehicles; emissions; greenhouse gases; travel time

Free keywords: Modal shift; Electric transport modes; Electric aviation; Greenhouse gas emissions

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2021

JUFO rating: 3

Last updated on 2022-20-09 at 14:51