Fluctuating fuel prices, air quality improvement policies, reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, energy transition targets and more… These are economic, social and environmental challenges that all require an urgent response now. Alternatives to traditional fuels are being developed as part of our search for a sustainable response. Among those solutions, Natural Gas for Vehicles (NGV) has seen continuous growth.
The reason? NGV uses a familiar energy source – natural gas – employed as a vehicular fuel. It stands out as a credible alternative for road transport, and particularly regional and urban travel, because of its many environmental and economic advantages. Just one example: the price at the pump is between 20 and 30% lower on average than diesel. In France today, nearly 22,000 NGV/BioNGV vehicles are already on the road.
In addition to our expertise in gas and our commitment to responsibility, we have thus been working to convert our fleet of vehicles to NGV since 2018, as the advantages of the sector reach maturity.
Indeed, there are at least 7 advantages of NGV:
a fuel with virtually zero fine particulate emissions;
a fuel with NOx levels less than half the Euro VI standard;
a fuel whose range (approximately 500 km) favours numerous uses;
a fuel for which the range of available vehicles is growing all the time (from light vehicles to buses, from refuse collection vehicles to lorries etc.);
a fuel which has no odour and is quiet;
a fuel which offers savings of €75k over the whole service life of a bus, for example, compared with diesel (source: SITRAM);
a fuel which meets safety standards. A key requirement of UNECE R 110 certification is the fitting of safety devices to each tank, along with regular inspections. Vehicles are approved for access to all tunnels and car parks, both public and private.
fine particulates compared with diesel
NOx compared with diesel
less noise and odour compared with diesel
The development of NGV for sustainable mobility requires four conditions to come together:
the provision of an energy source – natural gas;
the construction of filling stations;
a sufficient network on the ground;
a full range of vehicles being offered by manufacturers.
Within this, Teréga’s grid coverage provides the opportunity to create the network density that is essential for development of the sector: the NGV station network As a result, four stations will be constructed on our network between 2020 and 2021: three private Teréga stations on our sites at Cugnaux, Lussagnet and Pau, along with the first public station at Damazan (Lot-et-Garonne).
To mark our commitment, in December 2019 we signed a joint purchasing agreement with EnR64 for studies into the establishment of NGV stations across the Pyrénées-Atlantiques area. The idea is to combine our expertise and create a favourable situation for stations to spring up across the area. Our approach has three particular aims:
to encourage the progressive creation of a network of NGV/BioNGV stations;
to share the cost of studies in advance of any work;
to meet the targets set in the Energy Transition for Green Growth Law (LTECV), particularly in respect of sustainable mobility (-40% GHG and 32% renewable energy).
Currently there are nearly 300 stations across the country, and the target is to have a public filling station every 150 km by 2025. Development potential is significant, because the Long Term Energy Schedule (PPE) sets some ambitious targets:
3% of heavy goods vehicles running on NGV by 2023;
340,000 NGV vehicles by 2030.
To achieve that, tax incentives have been put in place and public finance (regions, Ademe etc.) is being proposed, including:
a reduction in the TICGN (Internal Tax on Natural Gas Consumption) where natural gas is used to fuel vehicles;
a vehicle depreciation bonus scheme;
full or partial exemption (according to region) from car registration fees;
support for the purchase of NGV vehicles;
assistance for energy savings etc.