Gas Networks Ireland has launched a €2.9 million compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle grant scheme to support the purchase of up to 400 CNG-powered trucks, buses and vans to help drive a more sustainable transport sector.
The grant will cover 20% of the difference between CNG- and diesel-powered vehicles, capped at €5,000, with a maximum of €60,000 available to any one applicant. Grants can be used towards the costs of vehicles registered from 2020.
“I am delighted to launch Gas Networks Ireland’s CNG vehicle grant scheme and would encourage Ireland’s fleet operators and haulers to take advantage of these additional cost savings and choose this cleaner fuel option for their vehicles,” says Declan O’Sullivan, CNG program delivery manager at Gas Networks Ireland. “Carbon neutral renewable gas made from food and agricultural waste which was first introduced onto the gas network in 2019 is structurally identical to renewable gas and can be used in exactly the same way through the existing infrastructure, technology and appliances. This means that as the volume of renewable gas on the network increases, vehicles fueled by CNG will increasingly reduce their carbon footprint without needing to change a thing.”
The journey to cleaner heavy good vehicles (HGVs) and buses – which comprise only 4% of vehicles on Irish roads but generate 30% of Ireland’s road transport emissions – is challenging: not only is the sector responsible for a disproportionate amount of transport emissions, but electricity is not a viable alternative to diesel in fuelling these long-haul vehicles.
CNG can reduce HGV well-to-wheel emissions by up to 23% compared to diesel and deliver cost savings for operators of up to 35%. CNG is gas compressed to fit into a natural gas vehicle’s (NGV) tank and is particularly suitable for use in commercial vehicles. It is a cleaner, affordable and proven alternative to diesel and is beginning to play a major role in Ireland’s fuel mix.
Gas Networks Ireland is developing a CNG refueling network in partnership with Ireland’s forecourt operators and haulers. There are CNG refueling stations located at Circle K’s forecourts in Dublin Port and Cashel, with two more set to open this year in Dublin and Limerick, another under construction in Cavan and a further eight in planning and development. Three private CNG stations are also in operation.