Press release 5.7.2006

Two cars in three are low emission vehicles

At the end of last year, the total number of automobiles in Finland was 2.8 million, of which 2.4 million were passenger cars. Vehicles equipped with catalytic converters and other low emission vehicles made up 67 per cent of all automobiles and 72 per cent of passenger cars. Although the stock of automobiles has been renewing slowly, the number of vehicles equipped with catalytic converters has increased manyfold since the beginning of the 1990s. The average age of automobiles in Finland is about 10 years. These data derive from Statistics Finland's publication Environment Statistics 2006released today.

Low emission vehicles in 1990-2005

Substantial decrease in nitrogen oxide emission from road traffic

In 2004, nitrogen oxide emissions totalled approximately 205,000 tonnes whereas in 1990 they still amounted to 298,000 tonnes. Transport and motor driven machinery still account for more than half of all nitrogen oxide emissions. From road transport, emissions have fallen by around 55 per cent from 1990, but nitrogen oxide emissions from other sources have diminished only slightly. Besides by the grown number of vehicles with catalytic converters, emissions from road transport are also brought down by improvements in the fuel economy of vehicles and in the quality of fuels. On the other hand, the volume of road transport has gone up.

Nitrogen oxide emissions in 1990-2004

In 2004, road transport accounted for 17 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions and for nearly 50 per cent of carbon monoxide emissions. The amounts of sulphur dioxide and lead emissions from road transport are very low these days thanks to sulphur free diesel oil and unleaded petrol.

Environmental Statistics 2006 contains a collection of statistics describing the effects from human activities on the environment and the actions society has taken to protect it. The topics covered in this 208-page publication include emissions to air, burdening of waters, agriculture and forestry, total material requirement, transport, energy, environmental taxation, environmental protection expenditure and attitudes of EU citizens to environmental problems.

Source: Environment Statistics 2006. Statistics Finland. The publication can be ordered from Sales Service at

Inquiries: Ms Raija Tulokas +358 9 1734 3419,

Director in charge: Ms Kaija Hovi