Germany’s ambitious target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95% by 2050 is set to have a significant impact on the evolution of long distance freight transport.
In a recently published study, the German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) identifies Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as the best applicable solution for long-distance haulage in the short term and for the next 10 to 15 years.
IVECO has pioneered natural gas technology for two decades, seeing it as the mature, reasonable and viable solution for sustainable transport. As a result, it is the only manufacturer that offers a full range of Natural Power models and the only true natural gas long haulage truck, the Stralis NP.
The German Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) has published its “Environmentally friendly road haulage initiative” („Initiative klimafreundlicher Strassengüterverkehr“), with the aim of achieving the country’s climate action target of reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions by up to 95% by 2050 and emissions from transport by up to 42% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. Reaching this target will require an almost complete decarbonization of the transport industry.
The BMVI Roadmap focuses on heavy trucks and considers the feasibility of natural gas, hydrogen fuel cells and electricity-based liquid fuels as the solutions to achieve a sustainable transport. This is consistent with IVECO’s sustainable transport strategy, which sees Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) as the best applicable solution for long-distance haulage in the short term. The study identifies LNG as the only mass market alternative to diesel until hydrogen fuel cell systems may then come on stream around 2030, followed by electricity-based fuels. Coming on the back of the recent extension of the tax reduction on natural gas until 2026 – further increasing investment safety – this study represents a logic step forward and signals coherent activities for a change in this sector. The BMVI study expects that some 50,000 alternative traction long-haul trucks will be sold by 2030, of which 1,000 will be supported by a soon to be announced incentive programme.
The BMVI study converges with IVECO’s vision of the future of the sector: natural gas is the next step on the path to sustainable transport. IVECO has pioneered alternative tractions – natural gas, electric and hybrid – for the past 20 years and is recognized today as a leader in this sector. In fact, this year NGV Global, the International Association for natural gas vehicles, bestowed the “NGV Global Industry Champion” Award to IVECO for its commitment to the natural gas sector and for its efforts in developing the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) markets.
As a result of this long-standing focus on this alternative fuel technology, IVECO is today the only manufacturer to offer a full range of natural gas models featuring three engine families developing 136 to 400 hp, with a product offer ranging from 3.5 to 40 tonnes – from light commercial vehicles to heavy- duty long-haul trucks, as well as buses. At the top of the heavy range – and relevant to the BMVI study – is the Stralis NP, the first natural gas truck specifically designed for long-haul operations, with autonomy of up to 1,500 km ensured by its two 400 kg LNG tanks and exceptionally fuel efficient engine. Featuring IVECO’s natural gas technology, it can run on Compressed or Liquefied Natural Gas, to deliver the power rating, comfort, transmission technology and fuel autonomy to suit long-distance transport missions.
Stralis NP is already proving popular in the international heavy haulage sector up to 40 tons, with customers reporting significant reduction in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In terms of environmental performance, the benefits are already significant with fossil derived natural gas, as the Stralis NP’s CO2 emissions are up to 10% lower than its diesel equivalent depending on mission and gas composition. This reduction in CO2 can be improved further with the use of renewable gas (up to -95% with biomethane). The benefits of IVECO’s natural gas technology extend beyond the vehicle’s CO2 emissions: the level of particulates are negligible and the NOx much lower (-50% compared to diesel over long haul mission). It is also much quieter, with noise levels 50% lower. This opens the door to additional business opportunities in urban areas with traffic restrictions.
With more than 22,000 units sold, IVECO is the absolute market and technology leader in natural gas commercial vehicles.