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Economists' report: Emission restrictions would accelerate the electrification of Helsinki's car fleet

Achieving Helsinki's carbon neutrality goal requires new impactful measures. According to the recent study by Aalto University's economics working group, areas with CO2 emission-free transportation would be an efficient way to reduce emissions in Helsinki's transportation sector. A sufficient transition period would be a prerequisite for success
Cars driving on the highway at night
Photo: Aalto University / Roope Kiviranta

The city of Helsinki has set strict targets for emissions generated by transportation in the Helsinki area. It commissioned a study from Aalto University's economics research group to investigate how emission restriction zones and regional bans on vehicles producing climate emissions would affect different car owners.

‘A conceptual assessment shows that a decision to establish a CO2 emission-free transportation zone with a sufficiently long transition period would be almost market-driven and therefore an efficient way to achieve the set goal’, says Professor of Economics Matti Liski, who led the research group.

The quantitative part of the study examined Helsinki's car fleet, its development, and car owners and holders. The study confirmed the notion that car ownership in Helsinki is skewed towards high-income individuals, who are also the most active buyers of electric cars.

The study also indicated that the electrification of the car fleet in Helsinki is accelerating. Although currently only about three percent of cars are electric, at the current pace, this share could rise to over 40 percent by 2030. By 2035, the share could reach 65 percent.

‘Helsinki's car fleet is already undergoing rapid electrification, and achieving Helsinki's goal does not appear impossible. However, effective policy tools are needed if we are to reach the targets’, Professor Liski concludes.

Read more:

Report Towards emission-free transportation (in Finnish) on the Aalto Economic Institute (AEI) webpage

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