The Natural Gas Vehicles Association Europe (NGVA Europe) has published a new study that quantifies the greenhouse-gas (GHG) emission reduction benefits of natural gas for light-duty and heavy-duty transportation, validating natural gas as a key solution for transport decarbonization.
Alongside data from the major European vehicle and engine makers, Westport Fuel Systems made GHG emissions data specific to the Volvo V60 bi-fuel passenger car that uses Westport’s advanced natural gas technology and Westport High Pressure Direct Injection 2.0 (Westport HPDI 2.0) for heavy-duty trucks available for the study, enabling new vehicle technologies to be included in the assessment.
As reported, the detailed well-to-wheels lifecycle analysis concluded that natural gas-fueled passenger cars offer a 23% GHG emission reduction benefit compared with petrol and 7% compared with diesel, assuming a European Union (EU) average upstream gas mix for compressed natural gas.
In heavy-duty applications, trucks fueled by CNG or liquefied natural gas offer GHG emission reduction benefits of 15%-16% using EU average gas mix. When the highest upstream carbon intensity originating source of LNG is removed and Westport HPDI 2.0 technology is used, reductions of 18% to 22% were identified.
Notably, these GHG benefits are significantly amplified when blends of renewable natural gas (RNG) or biomethane are used, with well-to-wheel emissions being reduced by 80%-95% depending on the fuel source and production pathway.
The study analysis was performed by Thinkstep, a global consultant specializing in lifecycle analysis, which collected and scrutinized the most up-to-date data from more than 50 industry participants across the natural gas value chain to determine the potential of natural gas engines and vehicles to deliver GHG emission reductions and contribute to the decarbonization of the transport sector.
“Lifecycle emissions from the transport sector and the sustainability impacts of fuel are complex calculations that depend on different inputs and variables,” says Karen Hamberg, Westport’s vice president of natural gas industry and government relations. “This study represents a significant effort to quantify lifecycle emissions in an evolving industry already deploying new technology to dramatically reduce or eliminate the largest sources of GHG emissions from both upstream and vehicle sources. As major metropolitan areas are facing increasing air quality concerns, natural gas vehicles in all segments represent an immediate opportunity to improve air quality and reduce GHG emissions.”
“Next-generation natural gas technology such as Westport HPDI 2.0, which is being launched in Europe later this year, is optimal for heavy-duty vehicles,” she continues. “Westport HPDI 2.0 is the only natural gas engine technology that provides a ‘no-compromise’ performance value proposition while achieving diesel engine efficiency within one percent with inherently low engine-out unburnt methane emissions.”
Click here to download the study.