Creating a clean municipal fleet with electric and compressed natural gas vehicles

Basic Information

Mobility solution ID





Thematic areas

Clean & energy-efficient vehicles
  • Cleaner fleets


Lille Metropole aimed to accelerate the conversion of its public transport system into a clean-vehicle fleet in order to improve air quality.

Implementing sustainable mobility

As a way of tackling poor air quality linked to emissions of particulates, nitrogen oxide and carbon monoxide from traffic, Lille Metropole introduced measures to privilege clean vehicles running on natural gas or electricity. The measure was also aimed at reducing noise pollution and fuel consumption.

In 1997, Lille Metropole decided to acquire 20 vehicles running on natural gas and 10 electric vehicles per year over three years in order gradually to replace the fleet with clean vehicles. The CIVITAS TRENDSETTER project made it possible to accelerate the introduction of clean vehicles.

Among the reasons for choosing compressed natural gas (CNG) rather than liquefied petroleum gas (LGP) were:

  • the diversity of options for the provision of natural gas, whereas LPG is a fossil fuel with limited supply;
  • flexibility and safety in distribution (i.e. not delivered by tanker);
  • the greater safety of the vehicles using the fuel; and
  • the fact that natural gas comprises mainly methane, which is truly renewable and can be produced from organic waste.



A filling station was constructed to supply the vehicles running on natural gas and a new compression unit was also installed. A technical follow up was ensured to monitor consumption, exhaust fumes and noise levels.

Terminals for recharging the 34 electric vehicles operating in Lille Metropole were also installed, with a charging time of between five and six hours.

The expansion of the clean vehicle fleet took place as follows:

  • 2001 – 32 electric vehicles and 76 CNG vehicles
  • 2002 – 32 electric vehicles and 118 CNG vehicles
  • 2003 – 34 electric vehicles and 122 CNG vehicles
  • 2004 – 34 electric vehicles and 157 CNG vehicles



The use of electric vehicles had a positive impact in terms of emissions, although battery charging requires strict management. Most of the vehicles in the Lille Metropole fleet were shared among several drivers, which meant that battery charging was often not successfully managed and expensive batteries and even engines had to be replaced.

After initial technical problems with engine tuning, the CNG vehicles responded well to demand. Analyses indicated low emissions of pollutants and low levels of noise.

This fact sheet has been updated by a third party on the basis of available information (not by the city itself), therefore we do not guarantee any data with respect to their content, completeness or up-to-dateness.



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