The European Road Transport Research Advisory Council (ERTRAC) has published a roadmap on ‘Energy Carries for Powertrains’. Produced in a joint effort between ERTRAC’s Working Group on Energy & Environment and NGVA Europe, the goal is to provide an overview of R&D needs for the most promising vehicle technologies, including CNG and LNG, that contribute to emission reduction of Europe’s transportation in the short, mid and long term.
For energy carriers the roadmap discusses key issues such as maturity of technology and compatibility with engine technologies and infrastructures, availability of resources, complexity of the production process and costs for developments, GHG savings potential on a well-to-wheel basis, as well as sustainable and resource efficient renewable energy production pathways.
The ERTRAC roadmap considers natural gas in CNG and LNG form, including from renewable sources, to be a fundamental strategic option to fulfil the EU target to move towards a decarbonization and oil replacement scenario for the transportation sector. Natural gas represents a viable immediate solution with huge potential for energy diversification and to minimize the transportation system dependence on crude oil, and thus deserve specific immediate attention.
The huge potential offered by biomethane is specifically emphasized. On a well-to-wheel basis, it is a carbon neutral fuel. Its major benefit when compared to other biofuels is that it can be produced from a great variety of sources. In addition, being the same chemical composition as its fossil counterpart, it can be used in existing natural gas engines and refueling technology with no blending limitations. It also can easily be injected into and distributed through the existing gas network.
The roadmap predicts that NGVs may reach 10% market share of new registered vehicles by 2030 (>30% by 2040), with gas from decarbonized sources reaching up to 20% in the total methane used. Key factor in the foreseen scenario is that the refueling infrastructure for CNG and LNG has been entirely established all over Europe, with the last infrastructure gaps being filled by 2040. Towards 2050, NGVs will play a key role in decarbonized and clean road mobility.
Source: ERTRTAC/NGVA Europe