Are Low-to-Zero-Emission Trucks Cost Competitive?

Medium- and heavy-duty vehicles (MHDVs) account for only 5% of vehicles on the road in the United States, yet they are responsible for 21% of transportation-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Reducing MHDV emissions can have a major impact to reduce GHGs and improve air quality. Zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs)—such as battery electric vehicles (EVs) and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles—offer a longer term solution; vehicles that use renewable biogas can lower GHGs significantly right now.

While projecting future technology adoption is complex and many factors influence consumer decisions, economics play a key role in choosing technologies for commercial vehicle applications. A recent study by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) explored how the total cost of driving for zero-emission and diesel MHDVs could evolve over time under different scenarios, from the present day to 2050.

“With continued improvements in vehicles and fuels, ZEVs are rapidly becoming commercially viable, potentially reaching total cost of driving parity or better compared to diesel vehicles by 2035 in all market segments,” said NREL’s Catherine Ledna, a decision support analyst who led the study.

Incentives such as the zero-emission MHDV purchase tax credits made possible via the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) further accelerate total cost of driving competitiveness and spur emissions reductions up to 70%.

Paving the Way to Zero Emissions

Biogas has a role to play in the transition to zero emissions — biogas systems can fuel EV electricity demand, while also offering additional renewable energy that’s available 24/7 to help stabilize electric grids.

Most biogas systems capture methane — a powerful greenhouse gas with up to 80 times the climate warming potency of carbon dioxide. This means that biogas capture, cleaning, and re-use as an energy resource results in even greater emission reduction on a lifecycle basis than fuels or electricity that only reduce or avoid carbon dioxide emissions, like wind and solar.

Biogas — called renewable natural gas (RNG) or biomethanecan be deployed today to fuel trucks that operate on compressed natural gas.

Reclaiming and using biogas serves an important function in recycling organic waste, reducing the burden on landfills and communities.

Photo: NYC DOT, under CC 2.0 License.

Methane Reduction is Our Best Way to Have Immediate Climate Impact

Reducing methane was a key focus at COP28. Why is curbing methane such a big deal?

First, methane’s contribution to global warming is about 80 times an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide over a 20 year period. That means that reduction today is one of the easiest ways to have an immediate impact on global greenhouse gas emissions. Read more

Preventing Methane Leaks Could Help Minimize Climate Change

Reducing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, is a focus at COP28. Why is curbing methane such a big deal?

Methane is a heat-trapping gas with up to 80 times more planet-warming power than carbon dioxide. When it escapes into the atmosphere, it contributes dramatically to the rising temperature of the planet — about 30% of the total historical rise since the Industrial Revolution, based on the 2023 IEA report. Read more

What is Biogas?

Common Sources of Biogas

Biogas is a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide produced as organic materials decompose in the absence of oxygen. Typical sources are landfills, water treatment facilities, manure management systems, and source separated organics such as food waste or biomass from agriculture. Biogas can be a renewable source of energy, but can contribute to greenhouse gas emissions when not responsibly managed. Read more

Novo Gramacho Second Phase Underway

novo gramacho phase two contract

Manoel Antonio Avelino (lft) and Steve Wilburn (rt) sign the contract for phase two of the Novo Gramacho project.

Today, FirmGreen Inc. announces that it has signed a contract to begin a second phase of operation at Novo Gramacho. With this project, additional biogas from sources offsite from the Novo Gramacho landfill will be transported to the site for purification to produce additional fuel stock. Read more

Brasil Biogas Plant is Now Selling Biogas!

It’s a big day at Gás Verde’s biogas purification plant as the first batch of biogas is sold! View our slideshow to see the story.

FirmGreen Hosts Brazilian Trade Delegation

FirmGreen Inc. (FirmGreen), a small renewable-energy company based in Orange County, Calif., hosted a Brazilian trade delegation at its Newport Beach headquarters this week as part of an United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) Waste-to-Energy and Landfill Gas-to-Energy Reverse Trade Mission. Read more

Novo Gramacho Biogas Plant Opens: from Trash City to Green Energy Center

The Novo Gramacho biogas plant officially opened June this year, transforming a former environmental wasteland into a green energy center that purifies the gases that accumulate as waste decomposes. The cleaned biogas will be delivered to a nearby customer via pipeline, fueling a portion of its energy needs with renewable natural gas. The use of this cleaned biogas will displace the use of natural gas from fossil fuels. A portion of the cleaned biogas will power the operations of the Novo Gramacho facility.

In 2012, FirmGreen and other U.S. green-technology suppliers benefited from a $48.6 million loan from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) supporting exports of equipment and services for the development of the Novo Gramacho biogas project in Brazil — the world’s largest biogas project of its type. Read more

FirmGreen Named ExIm Bank Renewable-Energy Exporter of the Year

FirmGreen CEO Steve Wilburn (center) accepts the Renewable Energy Exporter of the Year award
from Ex-Im Chairman Fred Hochberg (right) and Craig O’Connor (left). Photo credit: Ex-Im Bank

FirmGreen’s green technology exports create jobs and serve the world’s largest biogas project of its type

FirmGreen Inc. (FirmGreen), a small renewable-energy company based in Newport Beach, Calif., announces that it received the Renewable-Energy Exporter of the Year award from the Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank). The award was presented today at the Bank’s 38th Annual Conference in Washington, D.C. Read more

FirmGreen Targets 2012 to Produce Fuel from Trash at Novo Gramacho

FirmGreen, Inc. (FirmGreen®) a technology leader in the renewable energy field, has prepared its final shipment of proprietary biogas cleaning equipment for export to Brazil, setting the stage for the installation phase of the project that will produce fuel from trash. Read more