Europe: open legislative framework needed to decarbonize mobility
Europe needs an open legislative framework that can assess on fair terms all solutions contributing to the decarbonization of the transport sector and achieving air quality goals. To reach the 2030 targets currently under discussion, engine and vehicle technologies, in combination with low carbon and renewable gaseous fuels, will have to play a key role in the heavy-duty sector. But the current CO2 tailpipe emissions methodology has to be complemented to consider the contribution from advanced bio and renewable gas. 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. Renewable natural gas is also an available fuel solution that is ready to play its role today. Biomethane production is already standard practice, and its availability and vehicle fleet is growing fast. Therefore, just before the European Parliament’s final vote on the regulation setting CO2 emissions standard for new heavy-duty vehicles, NGVA Europe and NGV Italy urge 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. CNG and LNG technologies can cover all of them: from urban mobility up to long haulage freight transport. Moreover, 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 from 80% to 95% (compared to conventional fuels) when using biomethane 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% (compared to conventional fuels). This is when in the process methane that should 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. NGVs can provide noise reduction up to 50% compared to diesel vehicles. Storage and refueling 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 diesel. NGVA Europe and NGV Italy 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 decarbonization process of the heavy-duty sector.