Natural gas (CNG) is considered environmentally friendly (up to 25% less CO2 and up to 95% less NOx compared to other combustion engines) and promises higher energy efficiency. In view of soaring prices, more and more car owners are considering switching to gas energy. At least until 2026, tax relief for CNG will apply in Germany.
So far, CNG vehicle registration figures have been moderate: according to the Federal Road Transport Authority (KBA), 7195 CNG vehicles were registered in 2020, 4071 of them with the Seat logo, and so new registrations have increased considerably in recent times; in percentage terms, gas vehicles have even increased the most, with around 2,000 registrations and 200% more in February 2022.
The ecological advantage is becoming, more than ever, a compelling argument: biomethane, or BioCNG, for filling stations in Germany can be produced and sold independently of international gas markets because it is produced in Germany; it is thus a "made in Germany fuel". In addition, government measures imposing an increasing reduction of greenhouse gases and thus an increasing share of sustainable fuels on petrol station operators are having an effect. This allows innovative biofuel producers to earn revenue based on certified greenhouse gas reductions. And this is attractive in the case of waste biomethane.
The production costs of biomethane are largely independent of fossil gas and oil prices on European or international markets. Biomethane - also due to the income that can be earned from the aforementioned greenhouse gas reduction certificates - does not follow the extreme price swings currently experienced at fossil fuel filling stations.
In order to be able to further deploy this climate-neutral, consumer-friendly biomethane option for mobility, politicians need to recognise that this fuel is still desired for trucks and passenger cars. It is essential that biomethane, as a fuel, is also included in the calculations of fleet CO2 values as climate neutral.