Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), IVECO (a brand of CNH Industrial) and ENGIE have agreed to collaborate on the promotion of natural gas vehicles and infrastructure in Europe, with a particular focus on certain countries and regions. The initiative will unfold first in the Wallonia region of Belgium. The collaboration is in line with the implementation of the DAFI Directive (Directive 2014/94 – Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructures) and is part of a wider set of initiatives to promote sustainable mobility.
In June 2016 the Government of Wallonia passed legislation to promote and develop the use of alternative fuels (CNG and LNG mainly) in terms of infrastructure and vehicles by setting up a legal framework to support the installation of compressed natural gas (CNG) filling stations. This was prompted by the high profile Italian example, which has seen that country roll out a series of CNG refueling stations throughout its territory.
The legislation recognised the existing shortfall of CNG infrastructure as a major impediment to the growth of the regional NGV fleet. In line with COP 21, the Walloon strategy envisages that 50% of its public fleet vehicles, in need of replacement, will run on alternative fuels starting from January 1, 2017, and the percentage will rise to 100% starting from January 1, 2030.
The partnership between FCA, IVECO and ENGIE has been formalized by a long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), with the aim of cooperating together to offer all stakeholders (public and private) complete solutions for alternative fuels based on natural gas.
The extensive cooperation set out in the MoU includes several European Countries such as Italy, Romania, France and the Czech Republic and various areas of activities, like in-site fuel stations, R&D collaboration, cooperation with Governments and private stakeholders to develop CNG within the European DAFI, and the European project Connect2LNG.
Transportation is responsible for 22% of CO2 emissions in the world (30% in Europe); 95% of the energy consumed by this sector comes from oil. Today, the transformation to mobility that is less CO2 emitting, less polluting, and more fluid is essential, particularly in cities where three out of every four persons will live by the year 2050. To meet this challenge, ENGIE is developing urban planning advisory activities, solutions for public transport (electrification, signal system installations, service optimization), alternative fuels (including electric mobility and natural gas) and digital platforms to improve traffic fluidity.
Last October, FCA and IVECO joined Italian gas infrastructure company SNAM in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at fostering the further development of natural gas as a fuel for road vehicles in Italy.