Driving progress: How car energy is changing

Business Insights

It’s not only climate change at stake when it comes to vehicle emissions. Air pollution also affects public health, with 92% of the global population living in places where air quality levels exceed World Health Organisation (WHO) limits.[1] Emissions from transport are having a huge impact on our day-to-lives and our carbon footprint alike, so it’s imperative that we understand the new developments and fuel alternatives that are helping create a greener and healthier future for the way we drive.

Here, we explore the main ways that car energy is changing.

On the highway to zero

Within the next 20 years, a move towards LPG Autogas and the innovation of electric cars is set to drastically change the way we fuel our vehicles. This is mainly due to the government’s Road to Zero Strategy, which aims to end the sale of all new conventional petrol and diesel cars by 2040. The Strategy also plans to increase the supply and sustainability of low carbon fuels, as a way to reduce emissions from the existing vehicles already on our roads.

Another attempt to help drive this change, are regional-level policies that have been put in place in our most polluted cities. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, introduced the capital’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) on 08th April 2019, which stipulates that vehicles driving within the zone must meet new, tighter emissions standards or pay a daily charge. The aim is to improve air quality and lower emissions from conventional petrol and diesel-run vehicles in central London, with emissions set to fall by as much as 45% by 2020.

The evolutionary movement of electric power

The vision of using electric to power cars has been speculated for years -considering the compelling amounts of environmental and air quality benefits it includes. However, it was thought of as more of an ideal to aspire to rather than a serious catalyst in the fight against climate change. This has all changed in the last decade, with the development of advanced electric vehicle technology that has given electric cars mainstream credibility and appeal.

Generation Z drives are the main driving force behind the demand for electric cars. Research suggests that people aged 18-24 are the most likely to own an electric vehicle, with the main reason being the climate crisis. [2]

Unfortunately, the infrastructure currently available to support this demand is yet to comply with the technology given. With a chronic shortage of public charging points, one of the biggest impediments to many buying an electric car is the fear of running out of power and the risk of not being able to recharge on the go.

A fuelling Alternative: LPG

Although electric cars are yet to be available on the mass market, fuelling alternatives such as LPG offer reduced carbon emissions and are more energy efficient. Autogas, also known as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas), is the most accessible alternative fuel on the market – with over 170,000 Autogas vehicles currently on the road across the UK, serviced by more than 1,400 refuelling stations.[3]

In comparison to conventional fuel sources, Autogas is a popular choice available for those wanting reduce the carbon footprint they leave behind and to reduce the costs of their fuel expenditure- since LPG price is considered to be a cheaper alternative. Extensive existing infrastructure, plentiful supply and serious cost- and carbon-cutting potential mean LPG is positioned as the ideal interim fuel in the move away from petrol and diesel, and towards Net Zero.

Transport and LNG

Throughout our journey to create a carbon-free future, there are other substitutes available than just LPG to help support even greater emission reductions. As the cleanest burning fossil fuel available, LNG (liquefied natural gas) has quickly become the world’s fastest growing gas supply source.[4] As well as being highly efficient, it emits significantly fewer pollutants and offers CO2 savings of 20% compared to diesel, making it ideal for businesses who own large truck fleets and need to adhere to stringent air pollution controls. [5] Bio-LNG takes this one step further, offering CO2 savings of over 80%.[6] Also known as liquefied biomethane, Bio-LNG is a renewable fuel that’s created during the break down of organic matter, meaning it can be produced anywhere anaerobic digestion occurs (AD).

For more information on how LPG, LNG or Bio-LNG could help you contribute to a cleaner future for transport, visit: www.flogas.co.uk

[1] https://www.wlpga.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Autogas-Vehicles-Catalogue-2018.pdf

[2] https://instavolt.co.uk/aa-says-youngsters-most-likely-to-own-an-ev

[3] https://www.drivelpg.co.uk/about-autogas/

[4] https://www.shell.com/promos/overview-shell-lng-2019/_jcr_content.stream/1551087443922/1f9dc66cfc0e3083b3fe3d07864b2d0703a25fc4/lng-outlook-feb25.pdf

[5] https://www.ngva.eu/medias/natural-gas-a-solution-for-a-clean-and-decarbonized-transport-system/

[6]Transport applications; compared to conventional diesel engines (source: NGVA)