Deployment of CNG buses and LPG boats in Venice/Italy

By News Editor / Updated: 29 Aug 2014

This measure focuses on increasing the number of CNG buses in the public transport fleet and on introducing LPG in private boats in the Venice lagoon

Objectives / Innovative Aspects

CNG busesTo increase the number of clean energy efficient vehicles that run with natural gas in the public transport bus fleet, thus increasing the attractiveness of public transport as a whole and reducing polluting emissions.LPG boatsTo introduce the deployment of LPG in the fleet of pleasure crafts used by private citizens in Venice historical city centre and surrounding lagoon. This will take place through an integrated action that will start by testing LPG on a pilot fleet of 10 boats.To demonstrate that LPG is the most feasible alternative to gasoline for pleasure crafts, in order to bring about air and water pollutants (particularly HC, VOC, PAH) emission reductions, as well as water pollution (due to petrol spilling) abatement through a complete and detailed study of the state of the art and of the market and through benchmarking at the European level.To stimulate market, normative bodies and decision makers, so that the innovative experience in Venice will be the basis for the development of the use of LPG in boats firstly in Venice and also all round Europe. This objective will be reached through an awareness raising campaign at the local level and the preparation of a Local Action Plan.

The Measure

CNG busesCIVITAS permits the company to broaden its natural gas powered fleet through the conversion of 2 buses to natural gas, the purchase of further 35 natural gas buses and the acquisition of 5 natural gas minibuses for park & ride services.This expansion of the fleet is accompanied by a broadening of the necessary refuelling infrastructure.LPG boats1. Purchasing and field-test of 10 pilot boats aiming at a full demonstration of the reliability of LPG as a nautical fuel under standard use conditions. The ten demonstration boats will be fitted with new bi-fuel LPG outboard motors.2. Implementing a complete study on the use of LPG in boats, both with new factory-made engines and conversion kits (more details in the paragraph below).3. Carrying out an awareness raising campaign, addressing potential customers, policy makers and engines installers (more details in the paragraph “Innovation” ).4. Drawing up a Local Action Plan for the promotion of LPG in boats, addressing decision makers and possible local stakeholders, giving to each one specific roles and responsibilities, and thus co-ordinating activities with the same common objective.

Implementation Status

CNG Buses managed by ACTVN. 2 buses using conventional fuel were transformed by PHT Srl company into buses using dual fuel (diesel and natural gas) in order to empirically verify their functioning and highlight any potential problems. ACTV decided, as a result of these tests, that the purchase of new CNG buses was more economically viable than the conversion of the buses. In addition, the new buses would have an even better environmental performance than the converted buses. As a result of this evaluation, 35 new CNG buses, co-financed by MOBILIS were purchased and have been operating since February 2006.CONNECTION TO THE ITALGAS NATURAL GAS DISTRIBUTION NETWORKThe preliminary study for the connection to the ITALGAS natural distribution network was completed in July 2006. The CNG filling station was completed in March 2007. The contract between the City of Venice and ITALGAS for the extension of the natural gas pipeline was signed in January 2006; the contract between ITALGAS and the company which is laying down the pipeline was signed in October 2007; All authorizations needed were obtained in March 2008; The gas pipeline works started in March 2008 and finished in October 2008.MINIBUSESAs regards the minibuses, the first call for tender was closed in September 2006; however there was no bid satisfying the technical conditions requested by ACTV and therefore the call for tender was repeated in March 2007. The five minibuses have been operating since December 2007 and they are used to connect the park & ride car parks with the Mestre city centre.LPG boats managed by AGIREIncentives were put in place for first demonstrative LGP-fuelled motors for private owners. The material for info-surveys on citizens using LPG was prepared. On-the-spot surveys for possible locations of LPG-dedicated re-fuelling stations were carried out. Some possible future projects were prepared with Croatian LPG Association and Croatian private companies that were developing marine LPG technology. AGIRE monitored the first LPG engines in three private pleasure crafts and cooperated with ASSOGASLIQUIDI (Italian LPG Association) to obtain new regulations for LPG in boats.The authorization of the first filling station was signed and the location of the four filling stations was identified. However the procedures for the first filling station, were realized in derogation of the law, due to the absence of rules, after ad-hoc involvement of the fire department. The funding programme for private owners implemented and co-funded together with the Veneto Region was defined.In October 2007, during the Venice Site Audit, the situation was the following:1. The other 2 planned boats with new LPG outboard engines and the 5 planned boats with converted LPG outboard engines were not yet purchased>2. Daily operation of the demonstration boats, needed for validation of the reliability of the engines, was not possible without the filling stations.3. Realisation of the four LPG filling stations was delayed because of bureaucratic procedures and special authorization procedures. There was a draft for the national law under approval; then the law would go for EU approval for 3 months; in fact, in Italy, only bi-fuelled engines are lawful and it is not possible to use conversion kits in order to convert petrol fuelled engines on LPG engines. The conversion kits are on the market in other European countries.4. The 20% conversion target was not reachable by the end of MOBILIS. No such conversion kit can be used to date and possibly not before the end of the project.As a result of these difficulties and in agreement with the Commission during the site audit in October 2007, AGIRE reformulated the measure in order to bring it in line with the context in Venice.The new measure foresaw:1. Purchasing and field-test of 10 pilot boats aiming at a full demonstration of the reliability of LPG as a nautical fuel under standard use conditions. The ten demonstration boats to be fitted with new bi-fuel LPG outboard motors.2. Implementing a complete study on the use of LPG in boats, both with new factory-made engines and conversion kits.3. Carrying out an awareness raising campaign, addressing potential customers, policy makers and engines installers.4. Drawing up a Local Action Plan for the promotion of LPG in boats, addressing decision makers and possible local stakeholders, giving to each one specific roles and responsibilities, and thus co-ordinating activities with the same common objective.Actual implementation to date is:The remaining 7 pilot boats were purchased in January 2008. Two more engines were converted by the company “Gibellato”.The complete study on LPG was finalised. Potential users were asked to contribute to the market analysis at the ‘Salone Nautico’. There is a delay in finishing the deliverable as information on LPG in other markets across Europe has not always proved easy to get hold of. The field test of the demonstration fleet results was also feed into the complete study. However it should be noted that the lack of LPG distributors in the lagoon means that field tests are carried out on a day by day basis as the boats are refuelled in a particular manner. It is not possible to compare normal running of LPG boats and petrol powered boats over periods of time. Statistical analysis is therefore somewhat limited. All most relevant stakeholders and LPG associations were stimulated to restart the activities. Assogasliquidi and AGIRE are in constant contact in order to lobby the national authorities to speed-up the regulations approval process.The Local Action Plan for the promotion of LPG boats was delivered in December 2008.The following working documents originally foreseen in the measure 6.8 “Access management for the city centre in Venice (tourist launches)” were included in this measure after the Venice EC Site Audit:5.5 V-A-1 “State of the art on the availability of marine motors with low environmental impacts in order to understand which ones are the most modern and with the lowest emissions” (ex WD 6.8 V-2).5.5 V-A-2 “Cost-benefit analysis on use of marine motors using alternative fuels or alternative technologies” (ex WD 6.8 V-3).5.5 V-A-3 “Complete study, covering both solutions of new bi-fuel engines and conversion kits, which would treat the following aspects:1. State of the art (environmental advantages, technical and financial issues); key indicators about the pleasure craft fleet (number of kilometres, volume of fuel per year).2. Market analysis among pleasure craft owners.3. Benchmarking at EU level (legislation, trends in market).4. Local Action Plan for the promotion of LPG boats.DISSEMINATION ACTIVITIESDuring the Workshops of the Venice International Floating Shows some brochures and leaflets were distributed and AGIRE participated in the conference and workshop “LPG for the Lagoon”. During the 2008 Venice Floating Shows, the most relevant market actors were contacted to start the market study. The companies which attended the show were addressed aiming to identify the state-of-the-art technologies and better understand the current technical level of the commercially-available solutions. A leaflet regarding the conversion to LPG was produced to be distributed in the shipyards after the approval of the related law; AGIRE organised seminars / training course for technicians (in collaboration with the Confartigianato Venezia).

Results

CNG busesA reduction in emissions from the ACTV bus fleet in line with the following data:CO (g/km) HC (g/km) Nox (g/km) PM10 (g/km)Bus Euro I1993 - 1996 6,82 0,84 17,6 0,79CNG bus 3,3 0,73 1,32 0,022Pollutant emissions reduction (%) 51,6 13 7,5 97,2LPG boats1. Ten LPG demonstration pilot boats circulating in the lagoon.2. Clear steps forward following MOBILIS; the market study and the Local Action Plan will permit future development of the use of LPG beyond the MOBILIS project in a very effective and practical way: political commitment together with technical and economic feasibility.3. A more prepared market; the awareness raising campaign will prepare the market both from the end users side and the technology providers side.
Topic: 
Clean and energy-efficient vehicles
Archive
Country: 
Italy
City: 
Venezia
Contact: 
Elio Zaggia
Author: 
Elio Zaggia
Keywords: 
12 Jan 2009
29 Aug 2014