Position Paper

Greening Corporate Fleets should embrace Sustainable Alternative Fuels including Biomethane

Eurogas strongly encourages the European Commission to consider the role of all sustainable alternative fuels to decarbonise the road transport sector. In addition, the EC should focus on fostering the necessary enabling conditions for the deployment of such alternatives both in the private and corporate sectors.

The Greening Corporate Fleets consultation aims to explore ways to speed up the shift to zero-emission vehicles in corporate fleets, which make up about 42% of the EU car market and even more for vans, coaches, and lorries. Eurogas believes this initiative should include all alternative fuels, such as liquefied natural gas (LNG), compressed natural gas (CNG), and their bio- and electricity-based counterparts, to help decarbonize these vehicles.

Recognising the benefits of CO2-neutral fuels is crucial. EU regulations are pushing for proposals to allow vehicles running on CO2-neutral fuels by 2035, with methodologies for heavy-duty vehicles by 2025. By the end of 2025, the role of sustainable renewable fuels in achieving climate neutrality will be assessed, and by 2027, a carbon correction factor mechanism will be evaluated. The Greening Corporate Fleets consultation should also consider renewable and low-carbon fuels that meet the Renewable Energy Directive and other sustainability criteria.

European transport regulations should assess the greenhouse gas (GHG) footprint of fuels from production to combustion (well-to-wheel). While electric and hydrogen vehicles can emit nearly zero emissions at the tailpipe, biomethane can achieve negative emissions overall. The Renewable Energy Directive and Hydrogen and Decarbonised Gas Market Package set standards for the production and sustainability of these fuels. Eurogas supports well-to-wheel GHG accounting, aligning with the FuelEU Maritime Regulation and the Commission’s CountEmissions EU initiative. This approach allows for a comprehensive understanding of the GHG impact of various powertrains, aiding full transport sector decarbonisation.

Renewable and low-carbon fuels are already helping decarbonize road transport. In the heavy-duty transport sector, dominated by small and medium enterprise fleets, vehicles using LNG, CNG, and their bio- or electricity-based counterparts offer similar performance to conventional vehicles. These fuels are ideal for fleets that carry heavy loads over long distances with short refuelling times. Additionally, the Total Cost of Ownership for biomethane vehicles is comparable to diesel and electric options. European regulation should enable fleet owners to select the best available alternatives for decarbonising road transport.

Support measures like funding, fiscal incentives, and fuel supply infrastructure are crucial for adopting alternative transport fuels. The LNG Blue Corridors project has significantly increased LNG refuelling stations in Europe. The Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulation sets targets for developing LNG refuelling infrastructure, which can also support bio- or electricity-based alternatives. Currently, 40 stations in the EU offer 100% bio-LNG refuelling, and over 1160 CNG stations provide similar services.

However, some European initiatives hinder the use of renewable and low-carbon fuels. For example, the Weights and Dimensions proposal gives zero-emission heavy-duty vehicles a competitive edge by allowing them to carry heavier loads than other alternative fuel vehicles. The Greening Corporate Fleets consultation must ensure a level playing field for all technologies to support decarbonising road transport and maintain Europe's economic competitiveness.