Electric buses are essential in reducing emissions

Electric buses do not produce any local or carbon emissions, which is why they are essential in reaching our goal of cutting emissions from public transport in the Helsinki region by more than 90 percent from 2010 levels by 2025.

We intend to increase the number of electric buses so that by 2025 about a third of the buses used on HSL’s services are electric. This means roughly 400 buses.

The electric buses used on HSL’s services must be powered by electricity that is sustainably generated in the Nordic countries, for example, by means of wind, water or solar power.

Electric buses also have the advantage of being quiet and smooth compared to their diesel counterparts.

The number of electric buses is growing quickly

Electric buses on the services we procure

Year       Number           Share of buses, %
2018       10           1
2019       45           3
2020       60           5
2021       164           13

The Clean Vehicles Directive paves way for more electric buses

We favor electric buses in our tendering processes

The most important means for us to ensure that the number of electric buses keeps increasing is to favor electric vehicles in our competitive tendering of bus services.

We set a minimum limit for annual route kilometers of tendered bus services that must be operated using electric vehicles.

In addition, many bus operators offer to use electric buses unprompted. Even though electric buses cost more than diesel buses, having an electric fleet is a competitive option compared to buses equipped with internal combustion engines.

Costs incurred from operating and maintaining electric buses are smaller compared to those of diesel buses.

Ethical manufacturing of batteries is a priority

As of 2020, we have monitored the manufacturing of batteries for electric buses in our tendering processes from an ethical point of view. We require that the manufacturer of the electric bus include in their bid a report on the environmental effects of the batteries during their lifecycle as well as whether the batteries were manufactured under ethical conditions.

We work in cooperation with other Nordic public transport authorities to develop the life-cycle assessment of electric buses. The goal is to account for emissions caused by the manufacturing of electric bus batteries in the life-cycle assessment in order to take them into consideration in future tenders. 

Electric buses in a nutshell

Our work for the environment is yielding results

The results of our long-term work for the environment can already be seen as emissions from both bus traffic and other public transportation have been drastically reduced. And our journey has but started.