CA Natural Gas Trucks Now Carbon Negative

Cummins Westport has just announced that natural gas vehicles in California have gone carbon negative!!  Natural gas vehicles are increasingly powered by renewable natural gas (RNG) generated from organic waste.  In 2020, those vehicles removed more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than they emitted — the direct result of the increasing use of RNG.  RNG use is up more than 170% in the past five years, according to new data from California’s Air Resources Board (CARB), while the carbon intensity of natural gas derived from renewable sources continues to drop. RNG is increasingly made using methane captured from dairy and agricultural waste, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. By capturing gases that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere, RNG can provide carbon negative emissions that are critical to achieve carbon neutrality.

Ninety-two percent of all on-road fuel used in natural gas vehicles in California last year was renewable natural gas and much of that RNG was carbon negative.

In addition to their negative greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, ultra-low NOx natural gas engines perform at levels that are 95 percent below the federal nitrogen oxide (NOx) standard and 98 percent below the federal particulate matter (PM 2.5) standard.   These are enormous benefits for public health as they reduce smog-forming pollution and toxic air contaminants that cause respiratory illnesses, cancer and other health impacts.

According to NGVAmerica, RNG used as a motor fuel in California in 2020 displaced 1.83 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e). To put those numbers into perspective, California RNG motor fuel use:

  • lowered greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent amount generated by driving the average passenger car 4.6 billion miles
  • eliminated CO2 emissions, equal to 205.7 million gallons of gasoline consumed, or the energy use of 220,118 California homes in one year
  • sequestered the amount of carbon captured by 2.24 million acres of U.S. forests in one year

To learn more about ultra-low NOx trucks and RNG visit:  Cummins Westport