22 January 2019
Call for co-legislators to include a methodology to account renewable gaseous fuel already from 2025 intermediate target
In these crucial last steps of the negotiation for a final agreement between the European Parliament and Council on the new regulation setting CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles, NGVA Europe urges the co-legislators to include a methodology to account renewable gaseous fuel already from 2025 intermediate target.
It is fundamental that a mechanism for inclusion of renewable and synthetic fuels in the range of alternatives to reach the final CO2 reduction targets is developed. In parallel to the measurement of the tailpipe CO2 emissions, which are necessary as indicator of the vehicle efficiency and also to provide the indication of the fuel consumption, emissions associated to the fuel provision should be considered, looking to the much wider decarbonization target. This is the necessary signal to both vehicle manufacturers and biofuels producers to preserve the focus on investments.
In need to define a methodology to assess the right technologies
The type of methodology is open and needs to be defined in order to be consistent with the rest of the EU legislation. What remains clear is that according to the multiple missions the heavy-duty sector is asked to fulfil, no unique solution can fit and the mechanism to assess the different technologies, both available today or under development.
The timeline is crucial for the sector and delaying the conception of the methodology would represent a missed opportunity. This is because a considerable amount of renewable gas is already available and compliant with the strictest sustainability criteria of the Renewable Energy Directive. At the moment, the RED provides support for the production, but there is no mechanism to stimulate the consumption of it, and eventually releasing all sorts of biofuels from the dependency from public supports and creating a market-ruled product. Therefore, accounting for their contribution towards the intermediate target in 2025 is the most justifiable timeline, fully in line with the technology deployment of gas for freight mobility and renewables uptake.
Gas: Low fuel consumption, strong performance and low emissions
In parallel, it is also evident that the curb of greenhouse gas emissions is the result from a composition of efforts merging different contributions related to engine/vehicle technologies. Trucks running on gas are ranked among the lowest fuel consumption available on the market (see www.ngvemissionsstudy.eu). By ensuring a strong performance in terms of fuel efficiency, in combination with extensive maintenance intervals, gas trucks guarantee overall strong climate performance.
Consumers benefit from existing distribution and refueling infrastructure
A first adequate network is already in place, for both distribution and refueling infrastructure while alternatives are not expected to scale up quickly. The development of a methodology will enhance the already existing infrastructure and possibility of low-carbon emissions mobility that natural and renewable gas offer. Furthermore, investments needed to develop the infrastructure are feasible and competitive when compared with other technologies and therefore would not result in increased costs for the end consumer and only benefits.
In this transitional period for the European transport and energy sectors towards zero- and low-emission driving, the push for CO2 savings shall look at all reasonable options without being unidirectional at any costs. Truck makers will have to be provided with complementary and viable solutions to reach the ambitious targets expected already in 2025. This will enable the sector to plan and invest accordingly.
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