Europe needs an open legislative framework where all solutions contributing to the decarbonization of the transport sector and achieving air quality goals can be assessed on fair terms. To reach the 2030 targets currently under discussion, engine and vehicle technologies, in combination with low carbon and renewable gaseous fuels, will still have to play an important role in the heavy-duty transport sector says NGVA Europe ahead of the European Parliament (EP) vote on HDV emission standards.
According to the Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association (NGVA Europe), natural and renewable gas is an available fuel solution that is ready to play its role today. Production of renewable gas, also called biomethane or renewable natural gas (RNG), is already standard practice, and its availability and vehicle fleet is growing fast.
But the current carbon dioxide (CO2) tailpipe emissions methodology has to be complemented to consider the contribution from advanced bio and renewable gas. Ahead of the European Parliament’s final vote on the regulation setting CO2 emissions standard for new heavy-duty vehicles (HDVs) to be held on November 14, NGVA Europe urges for the inclusion of a new complementary approach.
The heavy-duty transportation sector is expected to play an increasing role in a global economy, while public transport and coaches will have to complement more and more personnel mobility ensuring an increased standard in air quality.
The well-established matchup between conventional engines and oil derived fuels will progressively move towards new solutions. It will have to leverage on clean and renewable fuels such as bio-CNG and bio-LNG to start the decarbonization process today, using the right technical solutions according to different transport needs.
According to NGVA Europe, compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) technologies can cover all of them: from urban mobility up to long haulage freight transport. Renewable gas can be blended with natural gas without additional cost or performance loss.
The use of natural and renewable gas stands on environmental and market opportunities:
- On Well-to-Wheel basis, bio-CNG and bio-LNG provide an overall CO2 reduction of 80 – 95 percent compared to conventional fuels when using renewable gas generated by municipal waste or power-to-gas respectively.
- When producing biomethane from wet liquid manure, the reduction of CO2 can even go up to 180 percent compared to conventional fuels). This is when in the process methane that otherwise would be released into the atmosphere is captured and converted.
- Real driving pollutant emissions from clean fuel, such as natural gas, are easier to control: very low emission levels are ensured with simple and reliable gas after-treatment systems.
- Gas vehicles can provide noise reduction up to 50 percent compared to conventional diesel vehicles.
- Storage of energy and refilling operations are comparable to conventional fuels: LNG trucks on the market are able to ensure more than 1 600 km range with torque and power characteristics equivalent to a conventional diesel engine truck.
Overall, vehicle CNG and LNG technologies are mature, affordable, reliable, safe and ready to play a role in the transition towards a clean and sustainable transport system.
We will continue to ask for an early inclusion of a methodology that can translate technology neutrality into legislation. Renewable gas is ready to play a fundamental role in supporting the decarbonisation process of the heavy-duty sector, NGVA Europe said in a statement.