July 20, 2020. According to a current study by ADAC Mittelrhein (Koblenz) and TÜV Rheinland, trucks running on liquefied natural gas (LNG) may already be cheaper than their diesel equivalents. The authors of the report also point out that, apart from diesel and LNG, there is currently no type of unit available that goes beyond small series or prototypes. “When it comes to the operation of the fuel cell, the catenary and the battery, the technology and the infrastructure are not yet mature enough for the daily use of a company,” explains Stefan Behrning, head of the Competence Center for Alternative Drives at TÜV Rheinland.

By analyzing various reports on alternative vehicles in long-distance transportation, ADAC and TÜV have developed a total cost calculator that takes into account all relevant parameters, from acquisition to maintenance costs, to make different types of units are comparable in terms of their economic efficiency. “The new total cost calculator is an important basis for decision making for large and small companies looking to buy new vehicles,” says Dr. Klaus Manns, President of ADAC Mittelrhein.

According to the study, LNG trucks have higher acquisition costs, but fuel is significantly cheaper than diesel trucks, and there is also a toll exemption until 2023. With ranges of 1,000 kilometers, they are also superior to trucks fueled by hydrogen and batteries. The current situation in terms of infrastructure also speaks of the boost of liquefied natural gas. There are currently 23 LNG service stations across the country, with 17 more to be opened this year. In contrast, hydrogen filling facilities for trucks are hardly available. While the fast-charging network for electrically powered vehicles also needs to be further developed, according to ADAC Mittelrhein and TÜV Rheinland.