38 t CNG truck for distribution transport

Absolute carbon dioxide emissions in road haulage increased from 34.2 to 39.7 million tonnes, i.e. by 16 %, between 1995 and 2014 in spite of technical improvements. (German Environment Agency – UBA)

Brief description

Deploying trucks powered with natural gas (CNG trucks) in distribution transport can make an important contribution to sustainable logistics. The use of this technology, however, involves a number of restrictions with regard to range, filling station availability, vehicle configuration and choice of transport refrigeration unit.

The benefit of the technology lies in possibly circumventing impending driving bans in German towns and cities thanks to significantly improved emission levels. Nevertheless, there are risks relating to costs. The higher cost of acquisition for CNG trucks need to be recovered within their useful life in order to be able to compete with diesels.

Compared with diesel trucks, CNG trucks are around 3 dB quieter.

Transport distance

  • up to 50 km
  • up to 100 km
  • up to 150 km
  • over 150 km

Greenhouse gas reduction potential

  • Depending on the source of the gas, between 15 % and 100 % greenhouse gas reduction
  • Greenhouse gases still arise through refrigerant leakage depending on the type of transport refrigeration unit used

Transferability & challenges

  • Simple transferability
  • Moderate capital expenditure
  • The filling station situation must be checked beforehand

Requirements for third parties

  • A system of incentives for CNG vehicles from politicians desirable (tax relief/exemptions from charges)
  • Possibility of night-time deliveries

Do you have any further questions about this best practice?

We’ll be happy to help you at logistik@2grad.org.

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