The European car fleet. + biomethane

Europe has a growing number of cars, buses and trucks fueling "natural gas". Natural gas is methane of fossil origin, and just like burning oil or coal, its use adds CO2 to the atmosphere.   

An Audi A5 fuelled with natural gas emits 95 grams of fossil CO2/km.

Produced from recycling of organic farm waste, bio-methane is non-fossil.The result is that... 

an Audi A5 fuelled with bio-methane emits no fossil CO2/km. Zero.

Clarification methane/CO2: A methane fuelled car does not emit methane. It emits CO2. Why? Because when ignited in a combustion engine, methane turns into carbon dioxide (CO2) and water.

Consequence: 2022 this means that Audi is financially punished for producing new A5 Sportback g-trons based on a fictive 95 Euro per gram fossil CO2/km it emits. While in reality, driving in Sweden on 100% bio-methane produced from waste results in this car emitting 0 grams fossil CO2/km.

Next level knowledge:




Singling out the climate perspective on this, there is a next level of knowledge, the so called Well-to-Wheel (WTW) pespective. This perspective calculates the entire climate effect of both producing and using the fuel. In the case described in the film, Hagelsrum Biogas, the climate effect is reduced by 128%.

   Californian WTW numbers

In October 2017, the California Air Resorces Board, CARB, released calculations on Climate Indexes when using different fuels available in California. A positive C.I means the fuel production and use contributes to the climate problem, a C.I. below zero means that the Well-to-Wheel net effect reduces the climate problem. The graphic uses numbers from the report describilng biomethane produced from cow manure. Incentives based on this knowledge has lead to the entire Californian methane powered truck fleet reaching net fossil carbon less than zero in November 2020.

Example: Weel-To-Wheel calculations, California Air Resources Board, Oct 2017.



1. European car manufacturers are world leaders in developing and producing cars fueled by methane.

2. REPowerEU investments in recycling technology for organic waste at farms and in cities cuts emissions from this waste. It also makes available non fossil methane, bio-methane. Methane combusted in an engine is transformed into water and carbon dioxide, CO2. In February 2022, 25% of methane available at Europe´s gas fueling stations is bio-methane. (Source: NGVA)

3. When combining the cars and this new fuel, the cars no longer emit fossil CO2.
They cars become Zero Fossil Carbon vehicles a k a NZEV, Net Zero Emission Vehicles.

4. When including the climate benefits of the fuel production in the calculation ("Well to Wheel"), the net effect of the system can be more than 100% °°  

°°Confirmed in the Science for Policy report (JEC2 Well-To-Wheels report v55) by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Commission’s science and knowledge service. Page 45 and 62 and in the RED Renewable Energy Directive, RED II, page 92.