The development prospects for methane in the transport industry

The development prospects for methane in the transport industry are also extremely interesting. In fact, natural gas is an environment-friendly, safe, practical and economic fuel. The emissions of a methane-powered vehicle, considering the entire production and transportation chain starting from the gas extraction well, are far lower than those of any other fuel (diesel, petrol, LPG). In addition, methane vehicles emit less nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbons, ozone and particulates into the atmosphere, especially compared to diesel. Its use reduces CO2 emissions by 43% (mixed with biomethane in the well-to-wheel approach) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) by 94-95%.

Out of every 100 vehicles on the road in Italy today, only 2.5 are methane-powered. There is enormous room for development which will naturally go hand in hand with developments in the logistics infrastructure (gas supply and distribution networks around the country).

Carbon dioxide emissions from methane-powered vehicles are among the lowest when calculated “from well to wheel”

Carbon dioxide emissions from methane-powered vehicles are among the lowest when calculated “from well to wheel”

Today, only 2.5 vehicles out of every 100 on the road in Italy are methane-powered

Today, only 2.5 vehicles out of every 100 on the road in Italy are methane-powered

Enormous room for development

Enormous room for development

Did you know?

Since 2010 it has been possible to install a private compression system to fill up on methane directly at home, through an electrical compressor connected as a gas entry point on the domestic methane distribution network.

  • A full domestic refill normally takes 6-8 hours
  • A gas meter dedicated to automotive use offers an excise duty saving of around 14 Eurocents per cubic metre
  • Alternative for private users if their home is in an area not served

What is Italgas doing?

We have decided to focus on sustainable mobility and renew the entire company fleet with methane-powered cars. This transformation, envisaged in our Business Plan, will also see the construction of 120 gas filling stations for self-consumption in 40 technical areas identified as suitable.

The european contest


The "Driving Clean Mobility" package

Perhaps the greatest emissions reduction challenge that the European Union is facing concerns the transport sector. The difficulty lies in a combination of factors: automotive is one of the most highly developed and innovative industries in Europe, one that is at the heart of the continent’s economy: it accounts for 4% of European GDP, guarantees employment to 12 million Europeans and every year invests €50 billion in research and development.

At the same time, it is responsible for ¼ of greenhouse gas emissions and is 94% dependent on oil. Furthermore, for a long time the transport sector has remained outside European policies on reducing CO2 emissions, such as the Emission Trading Scheme for example.

With the launch of the Clean Mobility Package at the end of 2017, the European Commission aims to stimulate the automotive industry’s commitment to a profound transformation of vehicle supply, whether for personal mobility or for freight.

This is a set of measures, contained in six legislative proposals, that seek a 30% reduction in CO2 emissions in transport by 2030, compared to the 2021 values.

The package covers demand by promoting clean mobility solutions in public works contracts (the Clean Vehicle Directive) and facilitating the need for incentives to use combinations of trucks and trains, barges or ships for goods transportation. It also affects supply, through the definition of new standards on CO2 emissions which will force producers to push innovation and supply the market with low-emission vehicles. With the prospects of strong development of electric mobility, it also aims to encourage the development of European input in the sector studying and producing innovative batteries (Battery Initiative).

The Commission essentially seeks to modernise the European automotive industry so as to keep the design and production of tomorrow’s cars in Europe and guarantee a future for a manufacturing industry that is one of the most important to growth and employment in our continent.


Sources: European Commission website

ultimo aggiornamento 09 January 2019 05:00 UTC