Trade body Gasrec is calling for the Government’s air quality plans to place greater importance on the use of natural gas as a low emission alternative to diesel for buses and medium/heavy commercial transport in the UK.
Natural gas is widely available and vehicle manufacturers are set to launch the next generation of ultra-low emission natural gas fuelled vehicles.
In a written response to government on alternative fuels, Gasrec argued that greater focus must be placed on reducing emissions from heavier vehicles which, although fewer in number, impact strongly on air quality and generate over 20% of road transport derived CO2.
The company pointed out that the commercial and environmental benefits of natural gas as a transport fuel for heavy vehicles is widely recognised now across Europe and around the world. Paris and Madrid are just two leading examples where these vehicles are already delivering considerable emissions reductions.
Rob Wood, Gasrec CEO, said: “While we applaud the government’s support for the development of electric cars and lighter vehicles, we are urging them to also place emphasis on tackling emissions from heavier vehicles, which carry a disproportionate responsibility for our country’s poor air quality.
“The government should recognise the immediate benefits of switching the heavy vehicle fleet to natural gas. Natural Gas is the ‘only’ currently available, low emission solution for vehicles at the heavier end of the transport spectrum. The expansion of natural gas fuelled vehicles would improve air quality immediately, reduce the costs of transport to fleet operators and the cost of goods in the shops.
“Thankfully, natural gas – as CNG and LNG – is now widely available. Gas suppliers have developed a range of proven filling station solutions and are now in a position to react very quickly to support market growth. Additionally, vehicle manufacturers now have a wide selection of natural gas vehicles available with new vehicles and models planned for the future.”