In a report published yesterday, ‘Driving change to low emission transport’, Gasrec details manufacturer testing which shows that Euro 6 gas-powered HGVs can deliver a reduction of 96% less carbon particulate emissions and 78% less NOx emissions, along with a yearly CO2 emissions cut of up to 19 tonnes per vehicle, compared to Euro 6 diesel emission standards.
The same results show the CO2 savings could be up to 100 tonnes per vehicle per year, if a Bio-LNG blend of fuel is used.
The report recommends a series of measures that the government should introduce, including: fuel taxation that reflects the fuel’s impacts on the environment; wider introduction of clean air zones, especially at British ports; and immediate implementation of the agreed EU Weights and Dimensions Directive.
The report also calls for the removal of green technology driving licence restrictions for 3.5-tonne delivery vehicles; permission for night-time deliveries with quieter vehicles; and the promotion of low emission vehicles through public tenders.
If just 1% of light and heavy commercial vehicles, buses and coaches across the UK were replaced with natural gas-powered equivalents, says the publication, the UK would save more than 64,000 tonnes of CO2 and enjoy a significant reduction in NOx, SOx and particulate matter emissions.
The consequences to UK health from these figures is striking. Government estimates show that NOx emissions contribute to 23,500 early deaths annually, with a further 29,000 due to particulate matter emissions.
Rob Wood, Gasrec’s chief executive, says: “The economic, commercial and environmental benefits of natural gas as a vehicle fuel are already widely recognised in Europe and around the world – and now it is time for the UK government to take these benefits seriously and properly support the growth of this technology.”
Gasrec says that while the government’s efforts to promote a transition to electric cars are to be applauded, the only viable low-emission option for heavy transport is natural gas.
According to Natural Gas Vehicle Association data, there are already 1.2 million natural gas vehicles in use across the EU, the vast majority of which are cars and vans. But this figure also includes over 6,500 trucks and 14,500 buses.
The UK has benefited from some of this growth, mostly through the adoption of liquefied natural gas by HGV fleet managers.
In the UK there are now over 700 gas-powered HGVs on the road network. Additionally, a number of lighter gas-powered delivery vehicles are also being used in urban areas and fleets of natural gas-powered buses are operating in Reading and Sunderland.
Click below to download a copy of the report.