Natural gas can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% to 25% on a total lifecycle or well-to-wheels basis. Fleets that operate natural gas vehicles can offer a lower emission service to their customers and reduce the environmental impact of their operations. For example, for a truck that travels 200,000 kilometres per year, the annual carbon benefit is an estimated 70 fewer tonnes of carbon emitted.
Natural gas vehicles can also be operated on a near zero emission form of natural gas that is produced by upgrading biogas from waste sources. This renewable form of natural gas called RNG or biomethane provides an estimated 85% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. RNG can be produced by upgrading biogas from landfills, wastewater treatment plants or anaerobic digesters. GazMétro recently announced Canada’s first LNG refueling station for heavy trucks which will be supplied with RNG produced from municipal waste from local municipality, Rivière-du-Loup in Québec.
Natural gas vehicles also provide air quality benefits. Both smog-related and toxic emissions that affect human health are reduced with natural gas trucks and buses. During vehicle refueling, there are no evaporative emissions as the connection between the fuel pump and the vehicle creates a sealed system. Highway tractors that operate on liquefied natural gas (LNG) incorporate boil-off capture systems, so that if LNG starts to warm up and return to a gas, the fuel is captured and stored on the vehicle.