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5 October 2021

Comparison of energy costs: natural gas outperforms other fuels

With more and more different offers at service stations in Europe, customers' need for information regarding new and sustainable fuels is growing. A new on-site energy cost comparison display for fuel stations is designed to help people estimate the costs incurred per 100 km.

Due to the different units of measurement of the various energy sources (litres, kilograms, kilowatt hours), the notice facilitates easy and quick comparison based on the actual costs incurred. In this way, service stations across Europe with several alternative fuels must implement an EU directive from 2014, that requires the comparison based on the unit €/km.

Since natural gas has a higher density than diesel and gasoline, its price per 100 km is much lower in terms of energy content. CNG for 100 km costs € 5.49 for a small or mid-size car and € 6.39 for mid-size and luxury cars on average, according to an actual calculation by the EU ministry. Compared with diesel and super gasoline, this reduces the cost by almost a third to a half, respectively.

With electricity currently being the cheapest alternative fuel, however, the comparison shows a need for improvement. While this information is correct for charging at home, the price changes considerably when charging on the road. The price per kilowatt hour of 20 to 30 cents can quickly more than double on the road, depending on the provider, and the price per 100 km can quickly rise from around € 4.80 back to the level of conventional internal combustion vehicles of € 7.48 to € 9.26 per 100 km.

The growing infrastructure of gas charging stations across Europe, the applicable tax benefits, and the avoidance of driving bans in cities all speak in favour of CNG, while the climate targets adopted across the EU call for swift action.

With hydrogen being relatively expensive and LPG as 100% fossil fuel not really presenting an alternative towards less emissions, it clearly shows that the circular economy subject to biogas has the right solutions for the future. With a rising biomethane content in natural gas fuels, vehicles powered by CNG can drive climate neutral in terms of GHG-emissions. In Germany, which now has an 80% biogas share, this is already a reality. Therefore, to really be „Fit for 55“ Europe needs to increase its use of renewable gases in road transport.