GNVERT… the sustainable mobility operator
ENGIE subsidiary company GNVERT has been distributing and marketing Vehicle Natural Gas (VNG) since 1998. It offers its sustainable mobility solutions to companies and regional authorities keen to reduce their environmental impact. The company is now using new biowaste reclamation methods to accelerate its development and drive innovation to encourage and promote energy transition in the regions.
VNG… a global growth market
14 million vehicles around the world are powered by VNG supplied by around 21,000 VNG filling stations. It’s in Asia and South America that this fuel is proving most successful: Pakistan, China, Argentina, Iran and Brazil all have more than 1,000 VNG filling stations. France, on the other hand, has only 177.
The French market and the wider European market therefore offer significant growth opportunities for GNVERT. Working hand-in-hand with local authorities and companies, GNVERT is focused on promoting the use of VNG in 4 key sectors: passenger transportation, urban cleansing, goods transportation and van fleets.
GNVERT… the clean fuels provider
Against a background of economic and environmental crisis, VNG is the eco-fuel that offers a clear solution to regional authorities and companies committed to replacing their vehicle fleets with an eco-friendly solution that makes sound financial sense.
The first argument in favor of this type of fuel is financial: VNG costs around 30% less than diesel. And then there’s the fact that, compared with electric vehicles, those powered by natural gas have a much longer range, making this the ideal fuel for goods transportation: a full tank of VNG can take a vehicle up to 250 miles. With liquefied natural gas, the range leaps to 750 miles.
The financial benefit is further enhanced by a strong ecological argument. As a less polluting fuel, VNG generates CO2 emissions 20% below those of gasoline. It also reduces diesel car and van emissions of fine nitrogen oxide particulates by 80%.
Currently, GNVERT operates 143 VNG filling stations in France. From next year onwards, it plans to open 10 more natural gas filling stations every year. The current 143 filling stations provide fuel for approximately 13,500 VNG-powered vehicles (including 10,000 commercial vehicles, 2,600 buses and nearly 1,000 trucks).
GNVERT… contributing to the energy transition
Because transportation is the second most energy-hungry sector of the French economy, and emits the most CO2 (a third of all CO2 emissions in France), the French government has set ambitious targets for air quality in its Grenelle de l’Environnement green agenda: these include reducing transportation-related emissions by 20% between now and 2020. This policy is forcing the major cities of France to consider ways of limiting the volume of polluting vehicles on their roads: that’s exactly what Paris is doing with its Plan Climat scheme, which requires half of all urban deliveries to be made using non-diesel vehicles by 2017. Against this background, GNVERT offers innovative, low-pollution solutions that achieve a range of different goals.
GNVERT… partnering green companies
Economy and ecology: both are key issues for companies conscious of the need to demonstrate their eco-responsible commitment to sustainable development. It’s something that Saint-Gobain Group company Point.P understands very well, because it has worked alongside truck manufacturer Iveco and GNVERT to develop a fleet of six VNG-powered trucks. The long-term goal is to have a 70-strong fleet of 100%-clean VNG-powered vehicles operating in central Paris in 2014. This project is the beginning of a long collaborative partnership, since Point.P plans to develop similar clean solutions in other French urban centers, including Bordeaux, Marseille and Nantes.
The benefits of Biomethane as a fuel
Even more eco-friendly, biomethane offers new growth opportunities for the VNG and Biogas sector. Produced from household, agricultural and other types of waste, biomethane offers an inexhaustible supply of renewable energy that not only recovers energy from biowaste, but also reduces CO2 emissions: mixed with VNG, it delivers a 97% reduction in CO2 emissions.
New French legislation on biomethane offers GNVERT another new opportunity for growth, because the Grenelle 2 law requires retailers to sort their waste and recover biowaste for recycling. The Carrefour Group has responded by launching a pilot project that uses three VNG-powered trucks fueled by biomethane made from the company’s own organic waste. The company is now considering extending this experiment to the Paris Region in association with GNVERT.