Daniel Skog from the City of Malmo outlines how locally produced vehicle fuel could help the city’s transport become more sustainable

In Malmö every third trip is done on a bicycle. Also the local railways and coming trams are experiencing increased business but still there is a need for sustainable solutions for buses and cars in the city and the region.

While electric vehicles are foreseen to have a bright future in cities such as Malmö, the biogas powered vehicles have a clear benefit so far – their mileage is unrivalled. The small biogas powered cars being purchased to the City of Malmö right now have an impressive capacity of 600 kilometres.

Locally produced vehicle fuel

Another beautiful feature of biogas is that we can produce it from our waste. Malmö is now introducing mandatory food waste recycling for all citizens and businesses. This is, of course, a great resource for biogas production. In the region of Skåne we see biogas replacing fossil fuels in the vehicle sector as a great opportunity for reaching a fossil-free energy mix. The region, therefore, tries to upgrade as much of the biogas produced as possible to a quality suitable for vehicle consumption.

In Malmö, the approximately 200 city buses have been gas-powered since the ’80s. During the later years the share of biogas, replacing fossil natural gas, has increased and reached 62,7% in 2012. At the end of this year, 2015, it will be 100% biogas. Already today the garbage trucks, a large portion of the private taxi fleet and the municipal vehicle fleet are powered by CNG/biogas. The interest in private and corporate gas-powered cars is increasing.

Longer, quieter and cleaner buses run on waste

Last year in Malmö we introduced new high capacity buses on our most frequented bus lane, connecting wealthier and poorer parts of the city. The 24-meter long biogas hybrid-buses have separate bus lanes and have not only increased the number of passengers with over 25% and the integration between city districts but also significantly improved the air quality in our city. Ecological sustainability walks hand in hand with social sustainability.

Several of the city bus lines in Malmö have reached their top capacity and we need to find public transport for a larger number of passengers. On the short term, it is these first of it’s kind biogas hybrid buses, and on the long term, trams are to be included in the fleet. Biogas powered buses and cars not only almost eliminate the climate change net effect their fossil cousins have, but they also decrease the emissions of NOx and particles in the city air which is a very welcome relief.

The system of gathering food waste, producing biogas, upgrade it to vehicle quality – and not to forget– distribute the nutritious bio sludge back on farmland, is a remarkable achievement Skåne is proud of want to share with the world. Through the BIOGASSYS project City of Malmö together with neighbour cities and actors on the biogas market, therefore, exports this knowledge to the broader Europe.


Daniel Skog

City of Malmö




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