Leeds Council's biomethane powered RCVs reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Published:  16 February, 2012

Powering RCVs using biomethane can deliver both greatly reduced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and cost savings for local authorities.

A year long trial of the fuel by Leeds City Council, supported by Cenex, the UK Centre of Excellence for Low Carbon and Fuel Cell Technologies, revealed this.

The trial vehicle, a Mercedes-Benz Econic LLG with a spark ignition engine running solely on biomethane gas, is estimated to have achieved a 49% saving in well-to-wheel GHG emissions, compared to the diesel Econics in the Council's fleet.

However, this was achieved using a temporary filling station – a more efficient permanent station raises the GHG saving to 64% with possible 78% savings estimated, if gas would have been generated on-site.

Additionally, lower fuel expenditure meant that annual vehicle running costs were estimated to be £2,500 less than a diesel equivalent. While gas vehicles currently cost more to purchase than diesel RCVs, this gap is expected to narrow as production increases.

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