The work of phasing out fossil fuels is in full swing and there are several great options. At present, we at DB Schenker mainly use biodiesel (HVO and RME) and biogas, but every day the conditions for us to become completely emission-free improve. This is done by switching to electricity and eventually hydrogen. Today we use several different types of electric vehicles, ranging from bicycles and vans to heavier trucks.
Today, electricity is commercially viable on our smaller cars (vans). Next in line are cars that are larger in size and the price of batteries is steadily declining.
When we get to the really heavy trucks that drive long distances, it gets a little trickier, because it requires a large battery capacity, which affects the load capacity. An interesting alternative is then electric roads. The Swedish Transport Administration has evaluated electric roads where they have looked at three techniques: Charging via pantograph (tram charging), charging via road contact and induction charging. We follow the Swedish Transport Administration's work and hope to be able to use the electric road soon.
Other challenges are the need for a lot of electricity in the right place and at the right time. There must be enough charging stations and the electric mains must withstand the pressure.
The environmental impact of the batteries is also an important factor. There are many different producers of batteries and it is important that they are manufactured with renewable electricity and that the batteries can be recycled.
Biogas is mainly produced from residual products from agriculture. Gas is extracted from the manure, and a positive side effect of this is that the manure is refined during the process and gives a product with better quality.
Food waste from cities is another product used in the production of biogas.
Liquid biogas plays an important role, especially for heavy traffic. The Swedish government has invested large sums of money in biogas and the strategy is that it will exist for many years to come.
Sweden's focus on biogas differs slightly from other European countries, which invest more in hydrogen.
However, we believe that all solutions are needed for us to meet the climate goals and many biogas stations are prepared to be converted to hydrogen when the time is right.
We have been using biodiesel for many years and today we refuel with 37 percent biodiesel.
Biodiesel is either HVO made from tall oil or offal, or RME made from rapeseed. HVO and RME help us to phase out fossil fuels, but since supply is limited, we see it as an interim solution.
The difficulty with biofuels is therefore the supply - there is simply not enough for the whole world.
In addition, there are dubious biofuels where the raw material cannot be considered sustainable. The legislation has made it more difficult to cheat, but it is of course crucial that the production of the raw material is sustainable.
In other words, HVO is fantastic in the short term, as a tool to get away from the use of oil. But for the future, we see other, more sustainable solutions.
We transport large quantities of goods by train and have done so for a long time. With Skaraborg Eco Shuttle, the goods are transported by train between Gothenburg and Falköping and then by truck to its destination.
In the spring of 2021, we will offer rail transport from Sweden to China every week. “Rail is a good alternative for customers who want faster transport solutions than sea freight and cheaper than air freight.