Total: natural gas, a mobility and transportation option


Total filling station distributing Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) in France.

On February 12, 2021, Total inaugurated France’s biggest natural gas for vehicle (NGV) and bio-NGV filling station in Gennevilliers. The event highlights Total’s ambition to become a European leader in the distribution of NGV and bio-NGV. Natural gas is an alternative vehicle fuel and a key path to energy transition in the transportation of people and goods. A look at the different solutions and Total’s commitment to developing natural gas for vehicle fuel.

What is Natural Gas for Vehicle (NGV) fuel?

There are two different forms of NGV.

Stored at a pressure of 200-250 bar, compressed natural gas (CNG) can be used to fuel passenger cars, city buses, light commercial vehicles and trucks, making it a highly versatile mobility solution. A truck running on CNG can travel approximately 550 kilometers without refueling.

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas that has been cooled to -120° or -162C° to convert it into a liquid. It is particularly suited to long-haul trucks on the highways of Europe and the United States, since it offers a driving range of up to 1,600 kilometers. The maritime transportation industry also uses LNG to power cargo vessels, tankers, and soon, ferries and cruise ships.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG): one of NGV’s false friend

Not to be confused with NGV, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) is a mixture of light hydrocarbons, chiefly propane and butane: 40% of all LPG is produced during the refining of crude oil and 60% is extracted from natural gas fields. It is stored in liquid form.

Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is different from Natural Gas for Vehicles (NGV) which includes Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), which is cooled to -162°C.


Biogas is derived from the fermentation of waste products. Purified biogas, or biomethane, has the same properties as natural gas and can therefore be used as bio-NGV in the form of bio-CNG and bio-LNG.

The recent acquisition of Fonroche Biogaz, the French market leader in the production of renewable gas, will significantly strengthen Total’s position in the market, where it is already present through:

  • Méthanergy (Total Quadran affiliate) – combined heat and power production from biogas.
  • Total Gas Mobility (formerly PitPoint BV) – instrumental in the rollout of Total bio-CNG stations internationally.
  • Clean Energy Fuels – biomethane production and distribution via a network of bio-CNG/bio-LNG stations in the United States.
  • Gas, Renewables & Power’s new Biogas Division – Total has decided to produce its own biomethane to stimulate and speed the transition of natural gas to renewable gas for applications not covered by Total Gas Mobility.

NGV, the key to supporting customers through energy transition

Natural gas as a vehicle fuel

Natural gas benefits include:

  • Lower truck fleet emissions, enhanced by the addition of bio-NGV (see below).
  • Improved air quality.
  • Reduced noise pollution in large urban areas.
TotalEnergies network service stations offering NGV in 2020 (operated and hosted)
European network stations operated by TotalEnergies by 2025
Over 600
stations in Asia (India, Pakistan) by 2025

Since May 2018, Total has been the largest shareholder (25%) of Clean Energy, the leading provider of NGV in North America, with over 550 heavy-duty truck stations across the United States and Canada.

LNG and maritime transportation

Liquefied natural gas cuts sulfur and fine particle emissions by 99%, nitrogen oxide by 85% and CO2 by 25%.

Demand for natural gas as a marine fuel is rising sharply:

  • 2020: nearly 1 Mt/year
  • 2025: nearly 10 Mt/year
  • 2030: over 20 Mt/year

3 LNG bunker vessels to join the M&S fleet in 2021 (Gas Agility in the Port of Amsterdam and 2 chartered vessels for Marseille-Fos Port and the Port of Singapore)
6 LNG-powered vessels to join the Trading & Shipping fleet in 2023 (2 Very Large Crude Carriers and 4 Aframax-type vessels)