Trucks powered by liquified natural gas (LNG) pollute the air up to five times more than diesel trucks, according to on-road tests commissioned by the Dutch government.
Campaigning group Transport & Environment (T&E), which published the test results, said that EU governments should stop encouraging the uptake of polluting LNG trucks by ending the extremely low tax rates that fossil gas for transport enjoys in most countries.
It claims that the results fly in the face of truckmakers’ claims that gas trucks cut nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by more than 30%.
Stef Cornelis, clean trucks manager at T&E, said: “Gas trucks are not clean and can actually be worse than diesel. It’s time for policymakers to have a fresh look at the evidence and put an end to gas truck subsidies, LNG infrastructure investments and tax breaks for what is just another polluting fossil fuel.”
Available at www.transportenvironment.org, Do Gas Trucks Reduce Emissions? notes that the tests were performed by TNO, an independent research organisation.
The report shows that the three LNG trucks tested emitted two to five times more poisonous NOx than the diesel truck with the lowest test result when driven in a combination of urban areas, regional routes and motorways.
When driven in towns and cities, the gas trucks release two to 3.5 times more NOx than the tested diesel truck with the lowest emissions.
Trucks powered by biomethane (biogas) would have the same air pollutant emissions as trucks running on fossil gas, T&E argues, because the fuel characteristics are the same.
The on-road tests also show that all three gas trucks tested produce levels of particle emissions comparable to diesel trucks.
T&E highlights that the EU Member States supporting the use of LNG with tax breaks, road toll exemptions and subsidies include Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Poland and the UK.
Last reviewed 9 October 2019