General Description

One of the three strategies identified in the FLEAT-project to reduce emissions is the usage of alternative fuels and vehicles. The project monitored during the project range from the replacement of diesel vehicle to CNG-powered light-duty vehicles; usage of electric vehicles; the usage of lighter and smaller vehicles and optimization of the automatic gear shifter for busses.

Tips & Tricks

-          First, make an inventory of different vehicle technologies available in your country (offered by trustworthy manufacturers);

-          For vehicles driving on alternative fuels (e.g. biofuels or CNG), make sure the fuel is (widely) available in your country;

-          For vehicles with alternative drivetrains, make sure the necessary side-equipment is available in your country (e.g. public or private quick fill stations for electrical vehicles);

-          Make sure the alternative vehicle technology is suited for the needs of the vehicle (e.g. range, speed, filling time, …);

-          Proven alternative vehicle technologies:

o   LPG-vehicles,

o   CNG-vehicles (natural gas or bio-methane),

o   biofuel vehicles,

o   electrical vehicles;

o   hybrid vehicles

-          Vehicle technology available on ‘regular’ vehicles to reduce environmental impact:

o   particulate filter for diesel vehicles,

o   direct injection (2nd generation) for gasoline vehicles,

o   energy efficient tyres,

o   Gear Shift Indicator (GSI) (stimulates ecodriving) which is offered by a few manufacturers,

o   Start-Stop (engine is turned of when stopped à no idling) is offered by a few manufacturers,

o   adaptations to improve aerodynamics;

-          Some (or all) of these technologies are combined in certain ‘green’ models from manufacturers: Volkswagen Blue Motion, BMW Efficient Dynamics, Ford Econetic,…

-          ‘Regular’ heavy duty vehicles: the higher the Euro-standard, the more environmentally friendly the vehicle (it’s very hard to get data regarding fuel efficiency of heavy duty vehicles);

-          Alternative heavy duty vehicles: vehicles running on CNG and biofuels (modified diesel engines);

-          Overviews available at: (CNG-vehicles) – (bio-ethanol vehicles) – (electrical and hybrid vehicles).

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General Results

From our experience, the easiest way to reduce CO2 emissions of passenger car fleets is to adapt the car policy. The newly purchased vehicles in the FLEAT pilot actions had a 10,5 % lower fuel consumption than the other, ‘older’ vehicles in the fleet. This type of action does not require any additional costs for implementation, while the lower fuel consumption immediately leads to CO2 savings and lower operating costs. The FLEAT pilot actions on car policy led to a direct CO2 saving of 287 tons (for a period of 1 year), with a potential saving of 1429 ton if the pilot action would be extended to the total fleets.

For light duty vehicles, switching from diesel to CNG (compressed natural gas) powered cars proved to be a viable option. The advantage of CNG light duty vehicles lies in the fact that the level of direct pollutant and CO2-emissions is significantly lower than with petrol and diesel vehicles. If the well-to-wheel emissions are compared, the advantage of CNG is even greater since no energy intensive refinery process is needed. Results from 2 FLEAT pilot cases indicate well-to-wheel CO2 savings of 21 to 27%. The extra cost for a CNG vehicle when compared to the diesel version is approximately € 1200 for the type of cars used in these pilots. On the other hand, the fuel cost per kilometre driven is substantially lower for CNG than for diesel vehicles. Based on the numbers of the FLEAT pilot actions, the yearly savings in fuel costs amount up to € 564, leading to a payback time of 2,1 years. A total of 65 light duty vehicles running on CNG took part in the FLEAT project, leading to a savings of 51 tons of CO2 over a period of 1 year.

Pilot Actions Overview







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