Finland Post has had excellent experiences of using biodiesel in its vehicles. As the first Finnish transport company to do so, the Post began the related trials in January. This is the first analysis aimed at obtaining proven research data on the use of biodiesel in Finnish conditions in various seasons. As the country’s largest transport company, Finland Post Corporation plays a major role in the development of environmentally friendly transport operations.
Technically, our vehicles running on biodiesel have operated reliably. No significant addition has been noticed in the consumption of fuel - for some vehicles, consumption has even reduced when compared to the corresponding period in 2006. Experiences have been obtained of temperatures well below zero as well as near summertime temperatures.
The experiment is based on ten vehicles operating in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. At the moment, the experiment is testing the functionality of biodiesel, especially its environmental benefits. The Technical Research Centre of Finland’s (VTT) laboratory is in charge of analysing emissions from the Post’s biodiesel-run vehicles while on the move. According to the results, the amount of health hazardous particulate emissions fell to less than half of fossil fuel emissions. Using biodiesel is believed to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions of the kind that accelerate global warming.
The fuel will be mixed with ordinary mineral diesel, based on various mixing ratios. During early 2007, the share of biodiesel in the fuel has been increased from 10 per cent to 30 per cent. During May, the share will be increased to 50 per cent, and the goal is to experiment with 100 per cent biodiesel in the vehicles.
The vehicles will be used in normal, commercial transport runs in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area and their drivers will regularly record observations of the vehicles’ operation in order to identify any differences between the use of biofuel and ordinary fuel. So far, no differences have been detected.
Finland Post has a long tradition of using alternative sources of energy in its vehicles, as evidenced by its use of electric and gas-operated cars. An electric car is currently used for mail delivery on Suomenlinna island, Helsinki, while a gas-operated car is being tested in delivery operations in downtown Helsinki. The firm’s fleet of over 5,000 vehicles covers around 100 million kilometres per year.
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