Alternative Fuels for Vehicles

Globally there is a growing awareness of the environmental concerns around the use of traditional fuels.

Gas powered vehicles with low, or zero, emissions from exhausts and a reduced carbon footprint are part of the future. There are several drivers for change, including:

An increasing awareness about air quality, especially within cities and urban areas, where tail pipe emissions are having a detrimental effect on health
A growing demand for environmentally friendly fuels with a particular emphasis on reducing emissions, such as sulphur oxides (SOx), nitrogen oxides (NOx), particulate matter and carbon dioxide (CO2)
Concerns over the long term availability of existing traditional fuels at an affordable price and over future security of supply, particularly from politically unstable countries
Growing numbers of publically accessible fuel stations which dispense gaseous fuels

There are now increasing numbers of alternative gas fuelled vehicles, such as those powered by hydrogen (H2), compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG), readily available. Within BCGA, gases used for vehicle fuels are the responsibility of Technical Sub-Committee 9 (TSC9). Members can login to access information on TSC9 via our Committee Meetings page. To support the role-out of alternative fuelled vehicles BCGA has worked with other bodies and developed guidance for those installing gaseous fuel infrastructure this includes BCGA CP41 and the Energy Institute Blue Book.

Biogas Vehicles

On the road with the world’s largest double-decker fleet powered by gas.

This video from the British Compressed Gases Association (BCGA) looks at a new generation of buses powered by compressed biogas gas in Nottingham, which are setting a blueprint for a green, cost-effective and high-performance fleet. The world’s largest number of double-decker buses powered by the gas are working in the city – and proving their worth on a day-to-day basis. Nottingham City Transport (NCT) has introduced the buses – supported with funding from the Government’s Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles

Offering a range of compelling benefits for UK motorists, and wider society.

A key benefit of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles is their ability to can cut emissions and reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. Hydrogen vehicles also provide a comparable range and performance to combustion engine vehicles, offering a rewarding driving experience with a range of 400 miles between refuelling. There are also no recharging issues. This video takes a closer look at this type of green transport.

Hydrogen safety

Hydrogen use is growing and there are many new businesses who are becoming involved with hydrogen, both as a fuel and for a variety of new applications.  The gases industry has been involved with hydrogen for many years and has over that time developed a wide selection of standards and publications to transport, store and use hydrogen safely. The industry has come together in a single web-platform to make our hydrogen safety documents more easily accessible. The platform is accessible via

Additional information is available at: H2 Hydrogen Tools

Several BCGA member companies offer services associated with the provision of various gases as alternative fuels for vehicle. Search the full list in our services directory.


Developments and further information

In recognition of the need to develop alternative fuel supplies, the European Union have published a Directive on the provision of alternative fuel infrastructure (AFID). They have set targets to increase the use of alternative fuels and to develop the infrastructure necessary. The UK has enacted the AFID through the Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulations (SI 2017 No. 897).

Within the UK, the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV), co-ordinate the Government effort to support the early market for ultra-low emission vehicles. The joint Government and car industry campaign, Go Ultra Low, provides lots of useful facts and information on battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles, while the UK H2 Mobility project provides information on working to make hydrogen-fuelled transport a reality.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) provides a guide explaining how hydrogen fuel cell technology works, some of the Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles available in the UK, the technology’s benefits and safety credentials, as well as practical information such as refuelling and refuelling infrastructure. The Gas Vehicle Network (GVA) provide a map showing the location of CNG and LNG filling stations. Additional information on the use of CNG and LNG as a vehicle fuel is available from NGVA Europe.



CP41 The design, construction, maintenance and operation of filling stations dispensing gaseous fuels. Revision 2: 2018

01/09/2018 Codes of Practice CP41

This Code of Practice covers the location, design, installation, commissioning, operation, maintenance and inspection of equipment used in a filling station for the dispensing into a vehicle of gaseous hydrogen, Compressed Natural Gas (CNG), or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), with or without the dispensing of other vehicle fuels such as petrol, diesel, Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) etc.

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CP46 The storage of cryogenic flammable fluids. 2016

01/09/2016 Codes of Practice CP46

This document covers cryogenic flammable liquid storage tanks and associated equipment at customer sites. Tank sizes range from 0 to 125000 litre water capacity. It provides guidance on their design, installation, commissioning and the operation of cryogenic flammable liquid storage installations.

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