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53% of US NGV fuel in 2020 was RNG

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Fifty-three percent of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in 2020 was renewable natural gas (RNG), according to new figures.

Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVAmerica) and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) reported that RNG as a transport fuel grew by 25% over 2019 volumes, increasing 267% over the last five years.

The organisations report that in 2020, a total of 646 million gallons of natural gas were used as motor fuel. Of that, 345 million gallons were from renewable sources.

Captured from organic material in agricultural, wastewater, landfill, or food waste, RNG can produce carbon-negative results when fuelling on-road vehicles like short- and long-haul trucks, transit buses, and refuse and recycling collection vehicles. The California Air Resources Board’s Q3 2020 data confirms the energy weighted carbon intensity (CI) value of California’s RNG vehicle fuel portfolio in its Low Carbon Fuel Standard programme is carbon negative and below zero at -17.95 gCO2e/MJ.

“If we are going to have a meaningful and immediate impact on climate change and clean our urban air, we need cleaner trucks and buses on our roadways now,” said Dan Gage, president of NGVAmerica. “We can’t wait.

“RNG-fuelled vehicles are the most immediate and cost-effective heavy-duty option when seeking to combat climate change and clear our air. RNG-fuelled vehicles provide a proven and scalable net carbon-negative/zero-emission equivalent solution for commercial deployment today.”

Johannes Escudero, CEO of the RNG Coalition, commented: “RNG supply is growing. With 157 production facilities transforming waste into fuel, and another 155 facilities on the way, we are increasingly able to affordably offer consumers the opportunity to decarbonise with RNG – the cleanest of any fuel available today.”

RNG used as a motor fuel in 2020 displaced 3.5 million tons of CO2 equivalent, according to the groups. Put into perspective, it lowered greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, equivalent to removing the GHG from nearly 8.8 billion miles driven by the average passenger car.