Thanks for a record fast vaccine!

By: Thomas Ström 12/21/20

Brexit creates ”1 million” new jobs

Another year has come to an end. But it isn’t just any year. It is year 2020. A year many think shouldn’t even existed, a year which should have been erased from the calendar. That is of course impossible, but it is clearly a peculiar and different time we live in. The pandemic lies like a thick fog across the globe, and many has been affected more severely than others.

In our industry those working with sea- and air transport has been, and are, most heavily affected. During the second quarter the sea fright more or less vanished due to factories, predominantly in Asia, shut down. Nothing was produced. There was nothing to transport.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel. The vaccine has been developed in the most impressive way. What was considered impossible a year ago has been made possible.  I don’t think many scientists thought a vaccine could be developed in less than a year. More likely 10 years. But it is actually here and come summer a large proportion of the population will have an adequate protection against Covid-19. In other words, it can only get better.

Even though it is incomparable to the pandemic, there is another large challenge for us working with international transports during 2021. How will things go when the UK leaves the EU?

This has already caused chaos and confusion. Now we just have to do what we can to help. We have already trained our employees in and outside of the UK to face this challenge. We are prepared for a hard Brexit. Unfortunately, it seems like the Britons are largely unprepared themselves.

New set-ups to transport goods across the border will take up more time as well as resources than before. But this is actually good for employment.

I have said it before and I’ll say it again: My wild guess is that Brexit will entail almost one million new jobs. It is actually not only at the border controls that more people will be needed. Every company in the UK and Europe, doing some sort of export, must have their own specialists in export and import to the UK. Where are they now?

Now I will take some time of the blog and will return in January.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year,


Bromma –the perfect airport for the new electric aircrafts

By: Thomas Ström 12/11/20

I continue to stand up for Bromma Airport and for the aviation. Bromma is highly needed for so many reasons. The airport will be the perfect hub for the new electric aircrafts, which in due time will connect our capital with several major and smaller cities in the Nordics. And it will be even better when the electric aircrafts and the new climate-smart aviation fuels will be in use. Let us then see which of the following is impacting the environment most, aviation or the high-speed trains.

In order to introduce a new air route there is no need for infrastructure investments. The high-speed train, on the other hand, which is very hyped at the moment, requires large scale investments. The high-speed trains will entail enormous costs and large environmental impact. No one knows today how big this bill will end up on, or when this infrastructural development will become climate neutral.

Earlier this year we saw the first electric aircraft in the sky for a real flight. It was a two-seated plane which flew from Switzerland to northern Germany. The second aircraft of this type has been delivered to Säve Airport in Sweden during the fall, where it is meant to be used as a trainer aircraft. The plane is completely carbon dioxide neutral and is charged with electricity from a solar cell plant at the airport.

The company Heart Aerospace, who are developing a Swedish electric aircraft for 19 passengers, is also based at Säve Airport. The company expects to have its first aircraft in operation in 2025, and that we then will have completely new air routes fully dependent on electric aircrafts. For this to become reality, we must have cooperation between all involved actors; decision makers, authorities, airports and airlines.

The heavy part of the infrastructure for aviation is already in place, and the electric aircraft with entail completely new possibilities than today’s larger aircrafts can offer. Anna Pernestål, head of the transport research lab at the Royal Institute of Technology, was quoted in Göteborgs-Posten saying: “The aviation industry has moved towards larger aircrafts, bigger hubs and longer routes. But with electric aircrafts we can address planes with between 30 to 50 passengers. Thus, we can start connecting smaller locations. You won’t fly an electric aircraft to Thailand. But you might start connecting mid- and northern Sweden with Norway and Finland. You  will get a new tool in your transportation toolbox.”.

Another exciting move is from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority who has said that all planes trafficking the Norwegian domestic flights will be electrified by 2040. This is an excellent goal in my view, not least considering that half of the domestic air traffic in Norway and one third of the domestic air traffic in Sweden regards distances on 400 kilometers or less. That is the background to why it is also thought that this transition will reduce greenhouse emissions with up to 80 per cent.

I sincerely hope that our politicians won’t have shut down Bromma Airport before this becomes reality. It would be deeply regretted for generations ahead.

Thomas Ström

Political power struggle behind reports for shutdown of Bromma Airport

By: Thomas Ström 12/2/20

This is so tiresome. What is really going on?
Politicians, civil servants and a business commerce organization has now made a u-turn and concluded that it is a great idea to shut down Bromma Airport. It is utter madness.

A country like Sweden with a capital of Stockholm’s size needs two airports, of which one is a city airport. I am positive that air traffic – within a few years – will be one of the most sustainable means of transportation. When this is reality, we will deeply regret that we shut down Bromma in the same way we did with Säve Airport in Gothenburg a few years back.

The issue with Bromma is a high profiled battle between the Government parties, where the Environmental Party demands an early shutdown of the airport without increasing the capacity at Arlanda.

Last time Bromma Airport was threatened with shutdown was in 2014, which is when I started writing my views in the matter on this blog. I have not changed my opinion since then. Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, on the other hand, has completely turned around. 

From being one of the loudest enforcers to keep Bromma and even presented a report stating that 24 000 jobs are threatened if Bromma was shut down, the organization has now switched opinion.

In a newly published report from the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce it appears that a shutdown of the airport is the single right thing to do. How is this possible?

I can only interpret this as a play with politics and power, for example through the fact that the organizations current Head of Communication is previously the Press Secretary at the Center Party’s Parliament Office. But the primary reason is of course that the Chamber of Commerce is governed by large corporations and it is the large ones that want to close Bromma since they mostly fly international (Arlanda Airport). Among them are of course SAS, who does not fly at Bromma. Collectively, they want all their development funds to “their” airport Arlanda.

Almost at the same time as the Chamber of Commerce’s report it was also published a report by Swedavia with the same theme: “Bromma is not profitable long-term”. Apparently, it is made to order by the Government (Ministry of Trade and Industry). This is what Rebecca Weidmo Uvell states in her blog and I have no reason to doubt her. 

After having contact with both Swedavia and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Rebecca Weidmo Uvell has been given access to a record (public document) from a meeting between the parties last summer where it clearly states that “the Government demanded that the Government owned and governed Swedavia should release a report which only focuses on shutting down Bromma on financial reasons”.

So that was what actually happened when the Government received exactly those headlines in media they had ordered in the meeting in late June. “The issue about the airports future has become significant since Swedavia recently announced that it is no longer commercially sustainable to run Bromma until 2038”.

Everything points to the direction that it was the Minister of Trade and Industry, Ibrahim Baylan, who ordered the report. Then that the same Minister – when the report is released to the media – seems surprised at the report’s conclusions is nothing short of distasteful.

Everyone knows that the Social Democrats and the Environmental Party want to shut down Bromma.

I am not surprised that none of the two reports addressed anything about:

  • The billions of SEK which has recently been invested in Bromma.
  • The more than 20 000 jobs which will disappear.
  • The costs of dismounting the airport.
  • How sustainable air traffic will be in the future when environmentally sustainable fuels have been developed.
  • All of the citizens in places across the country who will become isolated and dependent on trains to reach the airport.
  • That the battery powered aircrafts which are now being tested in Gothenburg have a reach on more than one hour, and thus are perfect for a city airport like Bromma.

I sincerely hope that this is not a done deal; Sweden needs Bromma! We and coming generations will deeply regret a possible shut down.

Thomas Ström



Volvo launches complete program of electric trucks

By: Thomas Ström 11/12/20

- Electric vehicles for heavy-duty long-haul transports will commence sales this coming decade

In connection with a capital markets day in early November, Volvo Trucks  announced that European road carriers will be able to order fully electric heavy-duty trucks already next year. The company’s massive effort in electrification will be crucial towards fossil free transports. I am delighted that Volvo Trucks has decided to drive the development of our business towards a sustainable future.

Tests of the electric versions of the heavy-duty trucks Volvo FH, Volvo FM and Volvo FMX are being executed at the moment. The electric trucks are intended for use in Europe for regional transports and for construction transportation in urban environments. The trucks will have batteries with a range up to 300 km depending on configuration.

The sales will commence during 2021 and volume production will start in 2022. This means that Volvo Trucks in Europe will offer a complete program of battery powered electric trucks for distribution, waste collection, regional transports and construction transports in urban environments.

During the capital markets day, Volvo also announced that the company in this coming decade will launch electric vehicles for heavy-duty long-haul transports. The fleet will consist of battery powered as well as fuel cell electric trucks with longer ranges. Volvo Trucks goal is to start manufacturing electrically powered hydrogen fuel cell trucks during the second half of the 2020’s. The company is working towards the goal that the entire product line shall be fossil free by 2040.

- We have to make a fast transition from fossil fuels to alternatives like electricity to reduce the transports’ impact on the climate. The terms for realization, and thus also the adjustment time, varies greatly between different transportation companies and markets. A variety of different variables are taken into account, such as financial incentives, access to charging infrastructure and the specific type of transport business, said Volvo Trucks’ CEO Roger Alm.

NTEX is one of several companies preparing for a gradual transition to electric drive. Many companies will have a mixed fleet with different fuels during a transition period. Our goal is naturally to use fossil free vehicles as soon as possible. 

Thomas Ström

35,000 fuel cell and battery-powered trucks will be built every year

By: Thomas Ström 10/15/20

– Nikola Tre is specially designed for Europe

If you have read my blog before, you know that I follow the development of hydrogen with excitement.
A very interesting company in this context is Nikola Motors; a challenger from the United States. The company's ambition is to supply Europe with fuel cell trucks and battery-powered tractors.
The company is currently building a large factory in Arizona, USA, which will produce 35,000 vehicles every year.

According to a press release from the company, Nikola Motors will invest 600 million dollars in the facility, which is expected to be completed in 2021. The factory's total area will be just over 90,000 square meters and at full production it will produce 35,000 units a year - with two shifts.

The first model in the factory will be Nikola Tre. This is a fuel cell truck specially designed for European conditions. A battery-electric model by Nikola Tre is expected to be delivered to customers as early as 2021. The model with fuel cells will be available in 2023. With fuel cells, the truck will have a range between 80-120 km depending on the load. It will be fully refueled in 15 minutes.

 The first cars delivered will be built in collaboration with Italian Iveco in Ulm, Germany. Therefore, it was no surprise when Iveco's owners chose to become investors in Nikola Motor this September.

Arizona will also produce the Badger, the world's first fuel cell pickup. The combination of fuel cells and batteries will create 900 horsepower and a range of 960 kilometres. As of this summer, it has been possible to order a car.

I hope to return soon with what it looks like in the order books.

Thomas Ström

Many indications that the electricity grid must be strengthened to cope with the growing electric car trend

By: Thomas Ström 10/1/20

A while ago, I listened to an interview on Swedish Radio with a professor at Luleå University of Technology. It turned out that interesting discoveries had been made regarding our electricity grid. In a so-called stress test, researchers at the university have identified that the Swedish electricity grid most certainly needs to be strengthened in order to cope with the expected upswing of electric cars.

Sarah Rönnberg is an associate professor in electric power technology at Luleå University of Technology. She explained to Swedish Radio what had emerged in their test, i.e. that there is a great risk that lights start flashing, microwave ovens start to make noise and that other electronic equipment can be affected when more people charge their electric cars in our electricity grid.

In addition to the researchers, representatives from power companies also took part in the test, which was carried out in Arjeplog. Together, they made mainly positive observations, but Sarah Rönnberg believes that preventive measures are needed to reduce the risk of poorer electricity quality when the electric car trend picks up speed.

She was supported by the power companies' representatives, who were present to see how the electricity grid reacted. One of the representatives was Peter Söderström, head of Vattenfall electricity distribution's innovation department. Afterwards, he concluded that a larger expansion of the electricity grid is probably required, compared to what was previously assumed.  

More news in the debate about electric scooters

About a week ago, Voi, which is one of the companies that rent out electric scooters, announced that scooters will be stopped from being used at night in Copenhagen. It is done as a direct measure to prevent drunk driving and accidents with, among other things, nasty head injuries. I wrote about this a few weeks ago.

I think this is completely correct.

However, my question is: When will the same thing be introduced in Sweden?
At present, the company has no plans regarding this.

Thomas Ström

New rail link for goods between Oslo and Gothenburg. Requirements are raised for renters of electric scooters

By: Thomas Ström 9/25/20

During the last week, I have noticed that things are starting to happen in areas that I have previously talked about on the blog.
Earlier this week, the Swedish newspapers Göteborgs-Posten and Dagens Nyheter wrote that the Traffic Committee in Gothenburg will soon make a decision on stricter rules for discarded electric scooters.
And a few days before that, I was reached by the news that a new railway connection for freight traffic between Gothenburg and Oslo is being established.

It has been several years since I pointed out that the railway between Gothenburg and Oslo should be expanded. Currently, two of the largest cities in the Nordic region have an ancient railway, which should have been replaced a long time ago. Some parts are over 100 years old. In fact, most railways in Sweden today do not have the capacity to carry more freight traffic.

Therefore, it is very gratifying that a new train connection has now been found for goods between the two cities. The train will run one day a week in each direction. Every Wednesday afternoon, the train, which is almost 600 meters long, will arrive in Gothenburg. After unloading, it is refilled and returns to Oslo.

According to the Port of Gothenburg, the connection will replace 2,000 trucks and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 700,000 kilos each year. The figure is based on all goods being transported in fully loaded containers; something that the Port of Gothenburg believes they will succeed with.

With this in mind, it is not difficult to estimate how much carbon dioxide emissions would be reduced if more connections could be created between additional locations. As I said before: build a new railway between Gothenburg and Oslo now!

Tougher requirements for electric scooters

Just a couple of weeks ago, I wrote about introducing higher requirements for companies that rent out electric scooters. The scooters are tossed across the city and in several places, they pose a great traffic hazard. And now more people are tired of this. There are indications that the Traffic Committee in Gothenburg will soon decide on stricter requirements for permits toward these companies. There is a similar regulatory framework that is already applied in Stockholm.

Among other things, the City of Gothenburg will demand that the city may seize the electric scooters that are incorrectly parked and that the rental companies can then redeem them for a fee that covers the costs.

From what I have heard, the goal is for these rules to take effect as early as 1 November. We can only hope that this will be the case.

Thomas Ström

Tax on plastic bags misses targets

By: Thomas Ström 9/17/20

”The government needs to stop using the environment as a reason to fill budget holes”

The past weekend I stumbled upon a Facebook post. It said: “At the moment, one litre of petrol is cheaper than two plastic bags in the Kingdom of Sweden”. How is this possible? What is going on? I decided to look a little closer on the events since the new tax on plastic bags was implemented on May 1st this year.

Actually, the public hasn’t heard very much about the effects of the new tax which the government, with Per Bolund - Minister of Financial Markets and Housing from the Swedish Green Party in the forefront, calculates 2,1 billion SEK in tax revenues only in 2020.

Also, the tax would contribute to an improved environment as well as saving the oceans from bad plastics.

From the information I have gathered it becomes clear that it will be difficult to bring in any billions this year. As a matter of fact, the plastic bag tax has in the first two months grossed only 22 million SEK. This obviously means that we don’t purchase plastic bags in Sweden any longer, as we did before the tax.
So, what do we use instead?
Well, we bring our own bags to the grocery store and we buy more multiuse bags. But more than that, we purchase twice as many paper bags as before.

The calculated tax income from the plastic bag tax seems to fail, but how has the tax impacted the environment?
My own analysis is that I don’t think that there are any fewer Swedish plastic bags in the oceans. Not on the West Coast where I live any ways. Every week I see heaps of garbage and not least plastic bags from other countries in the water.

And one can wonder how environmental the increasingly popular paper bag really is? The answer is: considerably less than plastic bags made from recycled plastics.
According to the Environmental Director of one of Sweden’s largest grocery store chains, a paper bag is environmentally neutral first after being used 42 times. A recycled plastic bag, on the other hand, is environmentally neutral after being used only twice.
TWICE!!! The first time when you carry your groceries home, and the second time when it is used as a garbage bag. From an environmental standpoint, the tax should rather have been directed towards the paper bag.

What makes this even worse is that the sale of paper bags has doubled since May 1st. What the authorities didn’t consider is that these paper bags take up approximately ten times more space than the plastic bags. In practice this means ten times more transports to the stores and thus ten times more emissions.

With this background I think it is time that the government stops using the environment as a reason to fill budget holes. Get your act together! 



Implement severe fines for discarded electric scooters!

By: Thomas Ström 9/11/20

It is difficult to avoid the fact that electric scooters have become a growing problem in a large number of our cities. They are thrown everywhere, for example on sidewalks, cycle paths and streets, and laying there they, among other things, lead to accidents among other road users. Not least for the visually and mobility impaired, they pose a great risk.

With that said, I wonder why the owners, i.e. the companies that rent out the electric scooters, are not fined for the electric scooters that are thrown everywhere? I am convinced that this would automatically create better order even with this vehicle. This would also be a perfect work for parking guards in large cities to take care of, especially now that fewer and fewer people are getting into the city center?

Another problem with these scooters, which SVT Rapport (a Swedish TV news programme) recently reported on, is the increased number of accidents with these scooters. In the report, both doctors and researchers alerted about the many facial and head injuries with "asphalt tattoos" and ugly scars, lasting the rest of the injured person's life. They wondered why people are not forced to wear helmets on electric scooters? I agree entirely.

The report also revealed that the majority of the injured come to the hospital between 22.00-02.00 during the weekends. This indicates that the cyclist has been under the influence of alcohol, which is associated with danger to life even for fellow road users.

Against this background, I wonder how one thinks when riding a vehicle like this with a large amount of alcohol in the blood? There is no difference between drunken driving. It's incomprehensible to me. If nothing is done about this, we will soon hear about fatal accidents as a result of drunken driving on an electric scooter.

Thomas Ström

The European Commission is investing greatly in hydrogen - Invests 180-470 billion euros by 2050

By: Thomas Ström 9/3/20

What will drive our vehicles and our industry in the future? I believe that it will be hydrogen and fuel cells!
I have been convinced of this for a long time, which I have also presented here on the blog. And I will tell you more about hydrogen in the future.
Today, I write about that the European Commission this summer decided to invest a vast 180-470 billion euros to expand the production of hydrogen in Europe.

This commitment has the potential to generate about one million new jobs. Many companies in Sweden and Europe would benefit if the EU were to launch this huge investment in hydrogen. EU wants to accelerate the investments as quickly as possible, not least to stimulate the European economy, which is being hit hard by the corona crisis. I read in media that the government's coordinator for a Fossil Free Sweden, Svante Axelsson, is almost stunned by the possibilities of hydrogen. I am glad that more people have discovered this.Svante Axelsson sees three reasons why the EU is now making this investment, which I myself and many others agree with.

Firstly, the price of electricity from solar and wind power has fallen sharply, which means that enough green electricity can be produced. Electricity is needed for the appliances (electrolysers) which in turn produce green hydrogen gas from water. The second factor is that the price of these devices has recently become cheaper. The third factor is that the hydrogen gas is needed as a storage to take care of the electricity that is produced with the help of solar and wind power. The hydrogen gas produced with the help of these energy sources can be stored and used later to provide electricity when it is dark and windless.

As I pointed out earlier, hydrogen can be used in several different areas and in various ways. South Korea has come a long way, which I will describe in future posts. In Europe and Sweden, hydrogen is already used in industry. A good example is the steel company SSAB, the mining company LKAB and Vattenfall, which run a joint project called Hybrit. The project aims to develop fossil-free steel by replacing coal with hydrogen.

Svante Axelsson says to the media that "Hydrogen is absolutely crucial if we are to succeed in having a 100% renewable energy system."
This summer, he has been commissioned by the government to develop a proposal for a Swedish hydrogen strategy, which will be presented in the spring of 2021.

This is needed! Countries within the EU that prove to be at the forefront of hydrogen production can receive very large grants and subsidies. I think it would be enormously gratifying if Sweden could become one of the countries in the world that is at the forefront of the development of hydrogen! It would benefit us in many ways for several decades.


London has raised the congestion tax this summer - for some it will be 320 SEK a day

By: Thomas Ström 8/27/20

The corona pandemic leaves its mark in many different ways. This summer, for example, London has raised the congestion tax to get fewer people to take the car into the city. At the same time, the Swedish Public Health Agency and its counterparts in other countries “preach” that public transport should be avoided as far as possible.
It is not easy to be human.

This summer, London has raised the congestion tax from 135 to 175 SEK per day, which is significantly more than other cities such as Stockholm and Gothenburg.
In addition, it costs extra to drive an older car.

Anyone who drives into the city's environmental zone with a car that is five years or older receives a penalty fee of 145 SEK. The total sum for driving into central London can thus be 320 SEK. In addition to this, the period that the congestion tax applies to has also been extended from 6 pm to 10 pm in the evenings. It still takes effect at 7 in the morning. What is also new is that the tax will additionally apply on weekends.

The remarkable thing in my eyes is that this increase has been made despite recommendations to continue to avoid public transport due to the corona pandemic.

Transport for London, which administers the congestion tax, claims that the reason for the change is that traffic has increased during the corona spread. The organization believes that traffic would double if the tax was not raised. Against that background, it is understandable.

Transport for London also says that the increase will be temporary – time will tell if this is actually the case. Why have residents of London been exempted from the discount from 1 August?

Fortunately, some groups do not have to pay. More precisely, everyone who works in health and elderly care as well as people in special risk groups that can be affected by Covid-19.

The question I ask myself is how many cars would we have in Gothenburg and Stockholm if we followed London?
One thing is for sure: The majority of parking attendants can take “staycation” a few months ahead.


Hydrogen and fuel cell sector grows - despite increased bankruptcies and tough times due to Covid-19

By: Thomas Ström 7/14/20

Covid-19 hits hard on businesses, in the Nordic countries and Sweden this is noticeable by the number of bankruptcies increasing, among many other things. A recent study from Bisnode shows that 10,528 companies went bankrupt in the Nordic region (not including Iceland) during the first half of this year.
In Sweden, there are 3,786 bankruptcies from January to June, which means an increase of 16% compared to last year.
Despite this, heavy investments are made in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector, an industry I’ve written a lot about here on the blog.

Here I present three exciting examples of Swedish companies in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector.


We have long talked about reducing carbon dioxide emissions in shipping. I have written a lot about this on the blog over the years. For some time now, the International Maritime Organization, IMO, has set a goal aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions in shipping by 50 percent by 2050.

In this area, the Gothenburg-based fuel cell manufacturer Power Cell received a large number of exciting orders during the year. The company develops and manufactures fuel cell stacks and systems that are powered by clean, or reformed hydrogen and generates electricity and heat without any emissions other than water.

Among other things, PowerCell has signed an agreement with a leading European shipbuilder to develop and deliver a marine fuel cell system with a total power of approximately 3MW. The system will be developed and delivered over three years and the total order amount during the period is SEK 77 million.


In 2020, Svenska Cell Impact AB has developed its collaboration with Nakanishi Metal Works (NKC) to test large-scale production of flow plates that can make fuel cells more cost- and energy-efficient.

Cell Impact AB which is a global supplier of advanced flow plates and production technology to manufacturers of fuel cells. The company has developed and patented a unique method for high-speed shaping that makes it possible to manufacture flow plates with more advanced patterns, which in return creates more cost- and energy-efficient fuel cells compared to conventional methods. Fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity and heat. The only residual product is water and therefore fuel cells are an environmentally friendly alternative to both internal combustion engines and batteries.


Another exciting company is Impact Coating AB in Linköping. The company develops and delivers technology for industrial PVD coating with a focus on fuel cells. PVD is a method of vacuum-producing thin layers of metals and ceramics, which provides coatings that maximize performance and durability. During the spring, the company received, among other things, an order worth 1,350,000 euros for a coating system for a German customer in precision components.

Less than a month ago, the company received an order from Hyundai Motor Company for a system for coating metal flow plates for fuel cells. The order value is 945,000 EUR.


Denmark to heavily invest in hydrogen - hope for many new jobs and a new export industry

By: Thomas Ström 7/2/20

In my last blog post I wrote about my future belief in hydrogen as an energy source.
Since then, things have happened.
At the end of June this year, Denmark announced that they want to invest greatly in hydrogen for cars, as well as heavy transport and aviation – news which for example was broadcasted in Swedish radio.

Denmark, like me, believes that hydrogen is the future. To get there, they will initially build two energy islands for hundreds of wind turbines in the North Sea and the Baltic Sea. This is done to meet Denmark's climate goals.

Ulrik Stridbeck, head of energy and economics at the energy company Ørsted, the largest wind power company in Denmark, told Swedish Radio:
"With three gigawatts of sea wind, available at Bornholm, hydrogen can be produced for buses and trucks, but the great opportunity is the demand from Copenhagen Airport, Kastrup."

Denmark was the first country in the world to build offshore wind turbines, already in the early 1990’s. Going from being a very expensive technology, wind power has recently fallen considerably in price. As for the Danish government, this makes one of the decisive elements and the country now aims to build two "energy islands" with hundreds of new wind turbines. The intention is to produce enough electricity to sufficient large parts of Denmark, as well as to produce hydrogen for heavy vehicles and aviation, among other things.

Hydrogen, which is made from water by means of electricity, can either be used directly among industries or as fuel in both cars and heavier transport. A thrilling thing the Danes have noticed is that the gas can be combined with carbon dioxide and form methanol, a so-called electrochemical fuel, which actually can power aircraft.

Recently, a number of Danish companies presented plans for a major production facility for electrochemical fuel in Copenhagen. The idea is to collect carbon dioxide from some of the city's heating plants and waste facilities, and the goal is to produce 30 per cent of Denmark's demand for aviation fuel already in ten years.

This also fits well with the Danish Folketing's plan to reduce the country's carbon dioxide emissions by 70 per cent by 2030. At the same time they are hoping for more job opportunities and a new Danish export industry.

If this is done right, I am convinced that Denmark will receive a large number of new jobs and substantial revenues from the sale of hydrogen.

Why do Swedish politicians never dare to invest in Sweden to lead developments in something similar?


Batteries are not the energy source of the future

By: Thomas Ström 6/16/20

By introducing Tesla, Elon Musk showed the world that it is possible to change a traditional industry. A number of years later, most car manufacturers today offer electric cars. All of these have followed the trend and invested large amounts of money. I, on the other hand, share the view with many others that batteries are probably not the energy source of the future.

I believe, that in the future, we will have transportation driven by energy from the sun and water. Although it almost sounds too good to be true, more and more people are convinced that hydrogen and fuel cells paves the way to a fossil-free world.

The "hydrogen vehicle" is actually an electric car, where the batteries are replaced with a fuel cell and a gas tank. With the help of air, the energy in the hydrogen gas is converted into electricity that drives the car's engine. The residual product, or the "exhaust gases", is clean water.

The "hydrogen vehicle" is actually an electric car, where the batteries are replaced with a fuel cell and a gas tank. With the help of air, the energy in the hydrogen gas is converted into electricity that drives the car's engine. The residual product, the "exhaust gases", is pure water.

As it seems today, cars with these fuel cells have an efficiency of about 50 percent. This means that they are significantly better at using energy than traditional internal combustion engines, but worse than today's battery-powered electric cars. In electric cars, comparatively more than 80 percent of the energy is used to power the vehicles.

However, the range is better in a car with fuel cells as you can drive nearly 700 kilometers on a single tank of hydrogen. For a battery car to reach as far on a charge, very large and expensive batteries are required.

For those of us who work with freight transport, fuel cells appear as a significantly better solution than electric power as gigantic batteries are needed to run electric trucks. Another large advantage is that a hydrogen tank is filled in a few minutes whereas an electric car takes many hours to charge. The queues and waiting times at the fast loading stations along our roads become longer as the number of users increases.

This is also the reason why more and more vehicle manufacturers, as well as and others in the business sector, are now focusing on hydrogen research and development.

I will tell you more about this in upcoming posts, here on the blog.


New regulations in shipping are sparing part of the environment, but risk becoming a disaster for another

By: Thomas Ström 6/1/20

“Releases as much zinc and copper as the base paint"

At the turn of the year, requirements for new purification systems in the chimneys of cargo vessels, the so-called Scrubbers, were introduced to reduce sulphur emissions in the air. Remarkable is that there are no regulations for how and where to clean these scrubbers. The consequence is that many times it is done directly into the sea. Scientists believe that a vessel might emit as much copper and zinc through its scrubber as from its boat bottom paint. Once again, the legislator has not understood the consequences of its own decision.

Since January 1st 2020, new emission regulations apply to all types of cargo vessels in the oceans. Meaning that the emission limit for sulphur content in marine fuels was lowered from 3.5 to 0.5 percent. In the Baltic Sea, the North Sea, the English Channel and some other places in the world, so-called SECA areas, the limit was lowered to 0.1 percent. Regardless of differences in percentages, it is exactly the same technology that the shipping industry need to invest in. The two alternatives are:

1)    Installing scrubbers in the chimney. An emission purification system which allows you to continue using the high sulphur-containing bunker oil.
2)    Switching to a fuel with less than 0.5 percent sulphur. This includes, for example, natural gas (LNG) and possibly methanol and gas oil (LPG). However, this is a significantly more expensive option than installing scrubbers.

A scrubber costs about SEK 50 million, installed and complete. Still, investing in one is cheaper than running on the more environmentally friendly bunker oil.

For the shipping companies it is about money. For the legislators, there are other driving forces. The primary ought to be that as quickly as possible meet the surroundings world's increasing focus on emissions and global warming. I do not see any other reason for pushing through such a legal requirement without doing a proper impact analysis, where one had seen that sulphur and other environmentally hazardous substances might be discharged into the sea.

So far, I have only seen some scientists at Chalmers warn that the effects could be very serious for the marine ecosystem. They say that the use of scrubbers does not reduce emissions, but that they are now concentrated in the sea instead of being spread with the air. When the sulphur oxides react with water and form sulphate, there will locally be a strong acidification of the sea water.

Furthermore, the scientists claim that a number of other pollutants are released from the exhaust gases, meaning that the scrubber water contains a large mixture of toxic substances. For example, scientists at Chalmers have found that a ship can emit as much copper and zinc through its scrubber as it does from the boat bottom paint.

I think the new emission regulations are great. But they are not enough. We also need legislation regarding the landfill. The sulphur must not end up in the sea or in other parts of nature.

Thomas Ström

Suddenly the new technology works! - The crisis means that everyone has to learn new things

By: Thomas Ström 4/24/20

It is widely known that crises create creative and new solutions. One obvious consequence of Covid-19 is the increased use of various digital services to conduct online meetings and video conferencing. All of a sudden, we have learned and accepted the new technology.

We at NTEX have a business that spans the entire world with sea, air and land transport. Until 2020, our management group meetings with Business Area Managers and managers in a number of different countries were usually physical. This is now impossible due to the Corona virus.

In order to gain the best possible control over how our operations are affected from one day to another, we have been forced into daily meetings with this group. As a result, we have started using an online service for digital meetings.

Some of us had previously tried this with mixed success. Most agreed that it rarely works.

"One or a few participants never manage to connect." "There are always some problems with the technology during the meeting." Yes, the arguments for not using the new services have been many. Now, however, we have been forced to use it and overnight everyone has realized that they have to spend time learning the new technology. Otherwise, they will not be able to attend the meeting nor receive the necessary information.

Thanks to the fact that we have had to learn how to use the new technology, we can better communicate and access the information within the organization. Suddenly I find that our staff is more informed than ever before.

I am convinced that we will continue with these types of meetings even after the pandemic. We will not have meetings every day, but much more often than we had before Covid-19. Now that we have learned the technology and gained greater acceptance for online meetings and video conferencing, we have also realized that we do not need to have as many physical meetings as we had before.

Thomas Ström

An exciting trend - more and more young people, including many girls, want to become truckdrivers

By: Thomas Ström 3/11/20

For several years, I have been warning about the fact that there are far too few truck drivers in Europe. In Sweden alone, there could be up to 10 000 more. Therefore, it is very gratifying to take part of the news that more and more young people are choosing to apply to the upper secondary school’s transport educations. In addition, it is even more exciting that the trend with more female students continues to increase.

Interest in joining a vehicle and transport program at the upper secondary school is increasing. Compared to last year, the first choice for this program has increased by three percent.
At the same time, the number of students enrolled in the second year has increased by 5,6 percent, which is admittedly less than last year when they increased by a full 25 percent, but still an indication that more and more people want to become a truck driver.

A clear trend is that more girls are discovering the vehicle and transport program. Today, just over 27 percent of all pupils in the second year are girls, which is to be compared with just under 16 percent in the academic year 2014/2015. Of the 89 schools that are included in the survey, 21 schools have at least 35 percent female students in the second year.

There have been times when the practical upper secondary education has had difficulties attracting applicants, but in recent years that have changed. There are many benefits. In addition to receiving a good education that also provides you with a driver's license and a job with good conditions, most of the pupils also manage to graduate. Today, more than 80 percent of transport students take their bachelor's degrees. With that figure, the program is second best in the country after the students who attend the Science Program.

Worth noting in the information from TYA (Transport Trades Occupational and Safety Board), is that as many as 90 percent of those who take the degree get a permanent job.

Thomas Ström

Link to TYA (in Swedish) >>

Interesting statistics from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency: Domestic flights reduce their emissions while railway emissions continue to increase

By: Thomas Ström 1/15/20

The day before Christmas eve, the website published an article about the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's statistics on Sweden's emissions during 2018. 
There one can read that carbon dioxide emissions from the Swedish domestic aviation decreased by 4% compared with the previous year. At the same time, the investigation shows that the domestic railways are increasing their emissions by 7,3%. I think this is worth reflecting over.

The article states that in 2018, Swedish domestic aviation accounted for 0,84 percent of the national carbon dioxide emissions when foreign shipping and international aviation is included. This is a decrease of 4% compared to 2017.
Since 1999, this has been a decrease of 25,4 percent. The reason for this is mainly because airlines today fly with more modern and fuel-efficient aircrafts, while working hard with reducing weight and optimizing aircraft sizes.

Sweden is a large country with long distances where aviation connects the country. There are no better alternative or more efficient way to get to Stockholm or Arlanda and Bromma,  as a last destination or for further transfer. There is simply no other means of transport that works better than an airplane for longer domestic transports.

In 2019, the number of passengers has decreased massively on domestic flights, which is largely due to flight shame, flight taxes and a distorted debate where facts are not the main focus. This is also something that, for example, railway traffic advocates highlight in various campaigns.
What they are not talking about is that the railway traffic increased its emissions by 7,3 percent in 2018 compared to 2017, according to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency's statistics. The same figure for domestic flights, including foreign shipping and international flights, is thus minus 4 percent. In my opinion, this should be highlighted in a better way in the debate.

Thomas Ström

Link to article on (in Swedish)

About Ströms blogg


Welcome to my blog. Here I will write about transport and logistics and much more ...

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