Take transport fuels. There is no single biofuel that can be a substitute for petrol or diesel. We see the limitation with bioethanol because it has an impact on the distribution infrastructure and on vehicle technology. So, having technologies that can switch from one system to another is a real advantage. It keeps the door open. Now, there is a growing industry looking at the renewable gas production.
And there are several pathways to produce renewable gas, starting from the conversion of waste biomass. Our society produces a lot of organic waste, which has to be disposed of. So gas conversion is a clever way to have a local production of clean fuel from waste — the cleanest fuel that you can get today for engines. And the second way, which is going to play an increasingly important role in the future, is synthetic gas produced by green hydrogen coming from renewable electricity, in combination with CO2 — so-called power-to-gas.
And the gas infrastructure is ready to cope with this — it is readily available and has an enormous capacity to store energy at low cost. So there is a very interesting potential to bridge the various energy sectors and make the most sensible use of the energy that we have. Opponents of electrification will continue to misuse lifecycle analyses to discredit battery electric vehicles.
We are all aiming for renewable electricity production in the future. But there is always the problem of guaranteeing supply and balancing the grid according to fluctuations in demand and production. Of course, part of it can be dealt with by demand-side management and smart grids. But honestly, this is peanuts in terms of volumes. And the gas network today is the only system that can provide this solution at low cost.
Europe is currently engaged in a global race to electrify transport. Is there really still a place for gas-powered vehicles in that context? It seems the direction is pretty clear now — at least when it comes to passenger cars. And speaking about gasoline engines, they use the same technologies as natural gas.
And here, there is a huge potential to include natural gas as a bridge to other solutions — like electricity, gaseous fuels and advanced biofuels. There is a number of countries where natural gas vehicles have picked up tremendously and it shows that the overall framework allows various avenues to develop. How do you expect demand to evolve in the future? Looking ahead to and , do you expect that the share of gas will increase or diminish? For , what I can say is that we project to multiply our fleet by ten, reaching 13 million vehicles in Europe.
This means that we will have reached the volume necessary to bring costs down and be competitive. And it will be a fuel available all over Europe.
No, in there is an assumption to potentially include renewable gas in the mix. Power-to-gas will accelerate, most probably starting from because there will be a serious need to convert the renewable electricity production in chemical form. Between now and , we see most of the renewable gas being produced via the conventional waste biomass conversion route, with some power-to-gas already in place. There are some publications. Recently Ecofys did a study saying more than billion cubic meters bcm of renewable gas will be available by Today, transport is a modest consumer of natural gas, around 2 bcm.
With our roadmap, we think we will reach around 29 bcm in So transport will still be well below other sectors in terms of gas consumption, well behind the heating sector and electricity production. And we could go even further for buses and trucks. Because these are two sectors where electrification will be very difficult — certainly for long-distance haulage. This is despite the fantastic semi-trailer from Elon Musk, who is promising fantastic acceleration with an electric motor. But the reality is that hauliers need to run 1, kilometres at low cost with a reliable solution.
Volumes are small indeed, we are talking about a few thousand registrations per year for natural gas trucks compared to 15 million truck registrations overall in Europe.
Natural gas could power up to 10 percent of all cars – Volkswagen
But the numbers are rising. What are your expectations for trucks? It will mostly depend on progress made on electrification and batteries. Maybe the electrification process will be stopped because of bottlenecks regarding the availability of raw materials.
Information about natural gas vehicles
We also hear about progress made on nuclear fusion, so overall the energy picture is still unclear. You mentioned the Ecofys study published in February. The study estimated it was possible to scale up production of renewable gas biomethane and renewable hydrogen in the EU to a quantity of billion cubic metres by However, it said it expected only a very small share — only 5 bcm — would go to transport. Most of it would actually go to industry, buildings or power generation. This seems to contradict your own projections 29 bcm , so how can your conclusions differ so widely?
Regarding the projections, the 29 bcm figure that we came up with relates to the overall fuel consumption of the entire transport sector. So the 5 bcm figure in the Ecofys study shows they have a different projection of the market situation in Check out the incentives search to find incentives in your region. In addition, consumers can purchase a "slow fill" system called Phill by Fuelmaker that can be installed in a home garage for overnight refueling.
Resources for finding CNG refueling locations are:. Compressed natural gas cars have similar performance to their gasoline counterparts, however they typically have a lower range between fills. Also, CNG vehicles typically have 20 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than gasoline powered cars. In addition, natural gas is not toxic or corrosive and will not contaminate ground water. To compare the environmental benefits between cars you are shopping for, remember to look for high ratings on the Fuel Economy and Environment Label. CNG, unlike gasoline, dissipates into the atmosphere in the event of an accident.
Gasoline pools on the ground creating a fire hazard. The fuel storage cylinders used in CNG vehicles are much stronger than gasoline fuel tanks.
The design of CNG cylinders are subjected to a number of federally required "severe abuse" tests, such as heat and pressure extremes, gunfire, collisions and fires. Finally, CNG fuel systems are "sealed," which prevents any spills or evaporative losses. Even if a leak were to occur in an natural gas vehicle fuel system, the natural gas would dissipate up into the air because it is lighter than air. Slide arrows to view vehicles by rating. This propane filling station database , maintained by the U.
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Department of Energy, provides current locations of stations in all 50 states. Department of Energy also provides updated information on current infrastructure development, and a complete listing of public and private alt fuel fueling stations , searchable by fuel type is also available. Share Flipboard Email. Christine and Scott Gable are hybrid auto and alternative fuel experts who brewed biodiesel and traveled , miles on waste vegetable oil.
Updated April 11,
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