In a two-year trial, the Dedicated to Gas project deployed 20 Euro VI vehicles running on biomethane, as a combination of CNG and LNG trucks to the three fleet operators. It was funded in part by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles and Innovate UK’s Low Emission Freight & Logistics Trial (LEFT) and delivered in partnership with Cenex, Air Liquide, Emissions Analytics, Microlise, Asda, Howard Tenens and Kuehne + Nagel.
The trial vehicles traveled over 2.2 million kilometers saving over 1,400 tons of well-to-wheel (WTW) CO2 emissions compared to diesel; the same distance as 56 times around the globe and equivalent to the CO2 saved in the lifetime of 3,150 trees, which would occupy a forest equivalent to the area of 18 football pitches. The project results show that, when compared to diesel, vehicles would make at least 17% greenhouse gas (GHG) emission savings with a 25% biomethane blend (B25), while 100% biomethane (B100) yields savings of at least 76%.
This is the first UK study to assess the performance of in-service and tested vehicles which are all Euro VI factory-fitted OEM natural gas vehicles. The trial drivers from the project fleets reported that natural gas vehicles perform better than diesel comparators in engine noise, vibration, overall drive comfort, engine braking and environmental performance. Moreover, due to the fuel cost savings, NGVs can pay back from year two of the total cost ownership at 160,000 km/year.
Heavy goods vehicles account for around 17% of UK GHG emissions from road transport. NGVs fueled by biomethane can offer a strong contribution to the UK’s 2050 net zero carbon target using technology which is proven, reliable, mature and cost effective.
“After a decade of hard work, the UK are now in a position where there is a wide variety of OEM natural gas trucks and clean renewable biomethane available from public refueling stations. This project proved the economic, environmental and operational case for natural gas trucks powered by biomethane. With around 80% well-to-wheel CO2 reduction from diesel, this proven technology can provide a significant in-road to meeting our net-zero targets and Cenex now look forward to assisting fleets in making the switch,” said Steve Carroll, head of transport at Cenex.
Daniel Lambert, commercial director downstream at Air Liquide UK, also commented: “Biomethane is a completely renewable fuel that is produced from biomass (organic waste) and can replace natural gas from fossil origin. Air Liquide is a committed stakeholder across the full span of the biomethane value chain for sustainable transportation – from purification to production and to the final client – and our work on the Low Emission Freight & Logistics Trial and publication of this report is a part of that process.”