Natural gas is currently the fuel that causes less harm to the environment, according to a new study by ADAC (General German Automobile Club). Natural gas-powered vehicles are followed by electric and diesel cars, which are almost on the same level.
The study reveals that once you take into account the life cycle of the of all the essential components, natural gas cars currently have the best carbon footprint of all common drive types.
Only when the electricity used is 100% regenerative, electric car show a significantly better balance than all other types of drive. This is the result of a current life cycle analysis conducted by Joanneum Research. For the study they used vehicles in the so-called "golf class" with an annual mileage of 15,000 kilometres and an overall service life of 15 years.
Compared to gasoline-powered passenger cars, EVs powered by the current German electricity mix can only show its superiority after 127,500 kilometres or 8.5 years of operation. When compared with diesel cars, it only gets worst; only after 219,000 kilometres or 14.6 years is the EV better in terms of climate friendliness.
In order to determine the climate impact, various energy expenditures are considered. These include greenhouse gas emissions from vehicle manufacture and recycling. The emissions resulting from the production, supply and consumption of fuel or electricity are also taken into account by ADAC. According to the ADAC, the excellent performance of the natural gas car shows how good conventional drive systems can be in the greenhouse gas balance. If the proportion of biomethane from waste and residual materials were to increase further, the results would further improve.