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All transports in the world need to become fossil-free and sustainable. Therefore DHL tests and endorse the transition and development of new sustainable fuels and technologies. Electricity and hydrogen together with fossil-free renewable fuels (according to Fossilfritt Sverige) such as biogas, ethanol and biodiesel play an important role in DHL's solution for sustainable logistics, today and in the future. DHL's long-term vision is a fossil-free and sustainable transport network. This requires a collaboration between a lot of different stakeholders, customers and our carriers.

What are fossil-free fuels?

One of the biggest challenges for the transport industry is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and use more sustainable transport solutions. There are several fossil-free fuels on the market today. Some require investments in new technology in the form of engines, while others can be used in ordinary vehicles. Some fuels are available in large parts of Sweden while others have a more limited availability. 

Different fuels have different advantages and disadvantages and in order to assess how climate-efficient a fossil-free fuel is, one needs to look at the energy performance and examine which raw materials are used and can be used in the future to produce the biofuel sustainably.

What do the abbreviations mean?

Within DHL's Swedish network, a number of high blends of biofuels are used, such as HVO, RME, LBG, CBG and ED95. HVO and RME are also mixed with all diesel sold on the Swedish market.

  • HVO is a synthetic biodiesel that is chemically equivalent to fossil diesel and can therefore be used in regular modern engines without any modifications. HVO can therefore also be mixed with regular fossil diesel.

    HVO is made from high-fatty raw materials. The climate efficiency of the fuel depends to a high degree of the source of the raw materials. HVO can have excellent climate performance, but if “wrong” raw materials are used, the climate impact can even be higher than if you used ordinary fossil diesel.

    In DHL's Swedish network, uses a variety of HVO mixtures when fueling, such as HVO42 (42% biodiesel, 58% fossil diesel) and HVO30 (30% biodiesel, 70% fossil diesel). In addition, about 300 vehicles roll in the network on the HVO100, which consists of 100 percent pure biodiesel.

  • RME is a biodiesel made from rapeseed oil and methanol. To be able to drive on RME, a diesel engine needs to be modified. At lower outside temperatures RME can have change in properties, which affects use in winter in Sweden. RME has a reducing impact on climate change in comparison to regular fossil diesel. RME is blended into all Swedish regular diesel up to 7%.

  • ED95 is a fossil-free fuel for heavy vehicles that consists of 95% ethanol. Ethanol can be made from a large variety of raw materials such as sugar, cereals, cellulose or stale bread. Just as for HVO, the raw material means a lot for the climate performance of the fuel. ED95 requires a special internal combustion engine and the number of filling stations for heavy duty trucks are few in Sweden.

    ED95 qualify as fuel in the insetting service SEND IT GREEN.

  • LBG or liquid biogas is a biogas that becomes liquid under high pressure and low temperature. The biogas is produced from waste and LBG is mainly used in heavy vehicles that drive long distances. LBG requires a special engine and the vehicles are more expensive than a "regular" diesel truck in purchase. The expansion of filling stations is in progress, but the possibility of refueling LBG still limits its use. A vehicle that can use liquefied biogas can also refuel liquefied natural gas (LNG) which are produced from fossil oil. LBG has very good climate performance while LNG have a climate performance slightly better than regular diesel with standard bio blend in Sweden.

    DHL is investing in LBG vehicles and in 2021 will triple the number at our own haulage company.

    LBG qualify as fuel in the insetting service SEND IT GREEN.

  • CBG, compressed biogas, has similar climate properties to LBG and is mainly used in smaller vehicles in DHL's network like vans. The possibilities for fuel with CBG are better than for LBG. In DHL's Swedish network, CBG is used in a handful of vehicles. CBG qualify as fuel in the insetting service SEND IT GREEN.

    Read more about DPDHL's views on various fuels globally and download our Whitepaper on Sustainable fuels