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New Report Examines Non-Petroleum Fuel Alternatives for Waste and Recycling Fleets

The Refuse Revolution report by NGO Energy Vision evaluates renewable diesel and biodiesel, renewable natural gas and fossil, BEVs (battery electric vehicles), hybrid technologies, DME, and hydrogen for performance, cost, and health and climate impacts for waste and recycling collection truck fleets.

The analysis evaluates each option’s “lifecycle” GHG emissions, which include Fuel production, transportation, and usage. It concludes that BEV trucks’ claims of zero emissions are untrue. Their large batteries stir up road dust and increase tire wear, resulting in particle pollution that is potentially worse than that of diesel vehicles. Because BEVs charge their batteries on a 58 percent fossil Fuel-powered electric grid, they produce significant lifetime GHG emissions.

The analysis reveals that trucks with natural gas engines running on RNG (renewable natural gas) Fuel provide the best value for money. RNG trucks were ranked top in terms of performance, cost, and reduction of GHG emissions and health-damaging pollutants across their whole lifespan. Scaling up RNG production, which is created from collected methane biogases released by decaying organic wastes, may reduce overall U.S. methane emissions by 15%. This would put us halfway toward the worldwide objective of lowering methane emissions by 30% by 2030, which IPCC and UN experts believe is necessary to avert catastrophic climate change beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Rep. Paul D. Tonko of New York’s 20th District says, “A robust, substantive legislative agenda must include decreasing methane emissions and sustainable transportation.” “This Energy Vision study demonstrates that companies can be resourceful in developing low- and no-carbon Fuel and technologies that are critical for a more equitable and sustainable economy.”

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