In the UK, CNG Fuels launched its renewable biomethane fuel, the most cost-effective and lowest-carbon alternative to diesel for heavy goods vehicles (HGVs). The fuel is 35%-40% cheaper than diesel, and emits 70% less CO2 on a well-to-wheel basis. It therefore offers fleet operators the chance to significantly reduce running costs and emissions. Retailers Waitrose, John Lewis and Argos, as well as hauler Brit European, have already committed to using the new biomethane fuel for their long-distance articulated trucks.
CNG Fuels is the UK’s leading supplier of CNG (compressed natural gas) fuel, and it is now sourcing its entire supply from biomethane. The biomethane is made from the gas harvested through the processing of waste generated by food production, which is then injected directly into gas pipelines. The gas is subsequently compressed at CNG Fuels’ own high-capacity refueling stations in Leyland (Lancashire) and Crewe (Cheshire).
The biomethane is independently verified as renewable and sustainable, and approved under the Department for Transport’s Renewable Transport Fuel Obligation (RTFO) scheme.
The gas qualifies under the initiative, generating Renewable Transport Fuel Certificates (RTFCs), as it originates from anaerobic digestion plants (waste treatment facilities that break down organic matter) which are not supported by the Renewable Heat Incentive or other subsidy schemes. CNG Fuels’ customers will be issued with documentation stating that they have purchased sustainable, renewable fuel, and setting out its carbon content.
CNG Fuels is developing a nationwide network of refueling stations on major trunking routes fed by the high-pressure gas grid. Low processing, transportation and electricity charges make CNG a low-cost, clean solution.
The Solihull-based company is also developing daughter stations in customer depots within 100 miles of its mother stations, and will deliver gas by trailer at a similar price per kilo. Including fuel duty, biomethane CNG retails at 65p/kg (US$0.83/kg) before VAT—the equivalent of 49p/liter ($0.62/liter, or $2.35/gallon US) for diesel—and prices are even lower for bulk purchases.
CNG Fuels is targeting operators of high-mileage HGVs, who stand to make the biggest financial savings and carbon impact. Its customers’ vehicles travel an average of 125,000 miles every year, and CNG-powered trucks are more expensive than those that use diesel.
However, for HGVs covering this mileage, fuel savings can recoup the extra cost within around two to three years. Furthermore, CNG fuel-powered engines meet the latest Euro 6 emissions standards, and are up to 50% quieter than diesel engine.
Renewable and sustainably sourced biomethane is the most cost-effective and lowest-carbon alternative to diesel for HGVs, and is attracting increasing interest. We are expanding our refueling infrastructure nationwide to help fleet operators save money, cut carbon and clean up our air. We are proud to be the first company in the UK to offer its customers RTFO-approved biomethane, and are pleased to be able to do so at the same price as fossil fuel gas.—Philip Fjeld, CEO of CNG Fuels