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Flix and Scania partner to boost bioLNG in transport

Flix and Scania partner to boost bioLNG in transport
On the FlixBus route from Stockholm to Oslo, bioLNG is used in a bus model by Scania (photo courtesy Flix).

On the occasion of the European Mobility Week 2023, Germany-headed mobility major Flix SE and Sweden-headed heavy-duty vehicle OEM Scania AB, have jointly announced a long-term partnership to enable more sustainable long-distance travel. By 2025, Flix and Scania aim to equip up to 50 coaches with LNG technology, to be run by Flix’s bus partners across the FlixBus network.

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The two companies see this cooperation as an opportunity to accelerate the green transition in mobility by developing new solutions and influencing the design of the needed green gas infrastructure.

As a first objective, the two companies aim to equip up to 50 coaches of FlixBus partners which offer intercity bus services across Europe, North America, and Brazil, with LNG powertrain technology.

The technologies used, developed, and manufactured by Scania, are devised to allow the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied renewable natural gas (bioLNG) interchangeably to facilitate the transition toward the most sustainable gas solution.

In the initial phase of the project, the coaches will run on different fuel blends of biogenic and fossil origin.

Scania is an extremely valuable ally for Flix and our bus partners, and we are happy to be able to rely on their long-term expertise and know-how to contribute to reshaping long-distance mobility. In time, this will also help us adapt our offering to the rising demand for low-impact travel options from a public that is growing more and more environmentally conscious by the day, said Fabian Stenger Chief Operating Officer at Flix.

Increase the share of bioLNG

The goal of the project is to progressively increase the share of bioLNG from organic waste in such blends until the coaches fully run on bioLNG, resulting in an expected carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction rate of around 80 percent on average.

This objective falls within the framework of Flix’s long-term goal of carbon neutrality.

An Irizar i6s Efficient with the Scania chassis fitted with Scania’s LNG powertrain (photo courtesy Scania).

The outfitting of the coaches is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. Irizar, the global bus and coach manufacturer, is integrating the Irizar i6s Efficient with the Scania chassis fitted with Scania’s LNG powertrain, which has been developed to seamlessly interchange between LNG and bioLNG.

Scania has plenty of experience with biomethane-powered buses, including supplying Nottingham City Transport in the UK with the largest fleet of biomethane-powered double-decker buses in the world.

The experience with biomethane-powered buses has already made it possible to strongly cut CO2 emissions compared to diesel along with lowering noise, while still relying on the power and torque of equivalent diesel engines.

These advantages make biomethane (aka renewable natural gas – RNG) a viable and circular option for long-distance actors seeking to increase their sustainable performance without sacrificing profitability.

Our ambition is to be a front-runner in the shift towards sustainable transport, and this collaboration with Flix represents a significant step in that direction. Biogas solutions are truly circular, and they’re possible to implement today, providing a sustainable solution that meets climate targets and reinforces social responsibility, said Johanna Salomonsson Lind, SVP and Head of People Transport Solutions at Scania.

SBTi commitments a driver

Johanna Salomonsson Lind, SVP and Head of People Transport Solutions at Scania (photo courtesy Scania).

Driving this partnership is the respective commitment to the Science-Based Targets initiative (SBTi), which provides companies with a clearly defined path to reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals.

As the first major manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles to commit, Scania’s commitment is to cut CO2 emissions from internal operations by 50 percent and to support customers to reduce their emissions from their vehicles in use by 20 percent by 2025 from 2015.

The coaches also represent a smart and sensible choice, because they supply the range and power needed to support any route, at a low cost in terms of both investment and operating economy. We are extremely happy to do this jointly with Flix as we know that a wide implementation of biogas solutions can have such a positive impact, not only for the operator but also for authorities and society at large, Johanna Salomonsson Lind said.

Flix’s participation relates to its recently announced commitment to fully decarbonize its operations in Europe by 2040.

The Company aims to realize this ambition by following a holistic four-point climate strategy, where fleet transformation plays a crucial role through the use of renewable fuels.

Climate change is increasingly taking its toll on the planet and people’s lives, and as a global travel tech company, we are aware of our responsibility to pave the way for a more sustainable future for the communities we serve. We are eager to seize any viable opportunity to reduce our carbon footprint on the environment, with fleet transformation being crucial, said Fabian Stenger.

Circular benefits

Fabian Stenger, Chief Operating Officer at Flix (photo courtesy Flix).

The benefits of the technology are that it cuts CO2 emissions significantly while also reducing the overall noise and providing similar power and torque to an equivalent diesel engine.

Using biomethane has its own benefits. It is fossil-free, renewable, and locally produced. Moving from compressed to the liquified form makes it possible to carry more fuel and increase the range capacity.

By switching to locally produced bioLNG as fuel in long-distance transport, operators can substantially reduce both their own and their customers’ climate impact.

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