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Heathrow Clean Vehicles Partnership website

Low emission vehicle technologies


STS offers extensive expertise in the selection of appropriate low emission vehicle technologies and fuels. STS advice comprises emissions impacts, whole life costs, operational issues, vehicle performance, and refuelling infrastructure.
While dependent on the required vehicle performance and drive cycle, as well as the availability of fuels and refuelling infrastructure, the main low and ultra-low emission fuel and engine technologies currently include the following options:
Electric vehicles: battery, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
Liquid biofuels: biodiesel, bioethanol and flex-fuel vehicles
Road fuel gases: liquefied petroleum gas, natural gas and biomethane
Electric vehicle technologies include: battery electric vehicles (BEVs); hybrid vehicles which use a combustion engine in conjunction with an electric drive-train; and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) which are hybrids that can have their batteries directly charged using an external electricity supply.
Of the liquid biofuels, bioethanol is an alcohol produced primarily by fermenting the sugars found in biomass crops such as sugar cane, sugar beet and cereals. Biodiesel is produced by the esterification of energy crops such as oil seed rape (to produce rape methyl ester or RME), sunflower oil, palm oil and soybeans.
Road fuel gases include liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), natural gas and biomethane. Biomethane is a renewable fuel produced from the anaerobic digestion of organic material, such as organic waste or agricultural residues. Once the raw biogas has been 'upgraded' to 95% methane, the gas can be used as a vehicle fuel in the same way as natural gas.
For an overview of available vehicle technologies, download one of the technical notes we prepared for members of the BAA Heathrow Clean Vehicle Partnership as part our ongoing work in supporting the Heathrow Air Quality Strategy.
BAA CVP 2010: Alternative fuels and vehicles [1MB]