Finns want cheaper diesel
A citizens' initiative in Finland aimed at having a special tax on diesel cars abolished gained far more than the required 50,000 signatures within 24 hours. Now the parliament must address the issue. The initiative came about in response to a rise in the price of diesel fuel, which now costs as much as gasoline at many filling stations. Finnish commentators stress the advantages of diesel.
The right fuel for the Finns
Until e-cars are introduced across the board Finland won't be able to make do without diesel, Juha Keskinen argues in Iltalehti:
“At least for now it seems that electric cars are the vehicles of the future. Nevertheless it will take years until they fulfil all the usage requirements. What's more, it will take time for the car population to be renewed and for the supply network for e-cars to be developed. So we'll be driving cars with combustion engines for a long time yet. Diesel cars will be needed in Finland for some time to come due to the huge distances to be covered. Thanks to their good qualities, low CO2 emissions and low fuel consumption, diesel cars are better adapted to conditions in Finland than petrol-driven cars.”
Diesel must remain competitive
The advantages of diesel vehicles are most apparent in rural areas, Savon Sanomat points out:
“Petrol-driven cars are considered cleaner than diesel vehicles. And they are, in terms of particle and sulphur dioxide emissions. In terms of CO2 emissions, however, petrol-driven cars can't compete with diesel cars. Diesel cars win out thanks to their higher efficiency: they consume less than petrol-driven cars. ... In Finland the competitiveness of diesel compared to petrol has to be preserved with the help of taxes. Because the problems associated with diesel vehicles are concentrated in the cities, meaning first and foremost in and around Helsinki, Turku and Tampere. ... In the countryside, where distances are greater, diesel cars demonstrate their many advantages.”