A trial involving lorries used by Asda, Howard Tenens and Kuehne + Nagel suggests significant CO2 savings can be achieved by using biomethane.
The Dedicated to Gas project, part funded by Olev and InnovateUK, involved 20 Euro VI trucks running on biomethane produced via anaerobic digestion.
The vehicles collectively covered around 1.4 million miles, saving around 1,400 tonnes of CO2, factored on a ‘well to wheel’ equivalent.
Compared to diesel, that breaks down to at least a 17 per cent greenhouse gas emission saving at a 25 per cent biomethane blend, or at least 76 per cent using 100 per cent biomethane, according to the trial. NOx levels were broadly similar.
The trucks were either standard CNG or LNG units. While these are more expensive than diesel equivalents, lower fuel costs for gas vehicles mean they can pay back from year two on a total cost of ownership basis at 100,000 miles per annum.
Heavy goods vehicles account for around 17 per cent of UK greenhouse gas emissions from road transport.
The trial also involved Air Liquide, Emissions Analytics, Microlise and Cenex.
“This project proved the economic, environmental and operational case for gas trucks powered by biomethane,” said Cenex head of transport, Steve Carroll. “With around 80 per cent well-to-wheel CO2 reduction from diesel, this proven technology can provide a significant in-road to meeting our net-zero targets.”
Given the cost and carbon savings, Cenex technical specialist, Victo Lejona, said fleet operators “should seriously consider gas HGVs as a viable option in the immediate future.”