Natural gas is an attractive alternative fuel, but there are some factors that are hindering growth in this market.
The market for natural gas (NG) refueling infrastructure and factors expected to influence its deployment have been analyzed in a recent report from Navigant Research. Global market forecasts segmented by fuel type, station type and region, through 2025 were among the factors analyzed.
NG is an attractive alternative to diesel for medium and heavy duty vehicles in meeting regulatory standards and an appealing option for reducing operating costs and carbon emissions in many automotive applications. However, NG can only be used where refueling infrastructure is widely available, and the current density of refueling options are tied mostly to government incentive programs. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, total sales of NG vehicles (NGVs) is expected to reach more than 35 million from 2015 to 2025.
“For NG to reach its full potential as a transport fuel, easy access to refueling stations and a large population of NGVs are required,” said Sam Abuelsamid, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “Without a critical mass of vehicles in need of NG fuel, station operators are unwilling to invest in equipment—and without easy access to stations, retail customers won’t commit to purchasing NGVs.”
The majority of NG vehicles use compressed NG (CNG) as opposed to the liquid form of the fuel, according to the report. Despite its lower energy density compared to liquid NG (LNG), CNG is generally considered the superior option for NGVs that are operating within a limited range where extended driving range is not required; LNG also requires extra processing procedures, driving up the overall price of the fuel.
The report, Natural Gas Refueling Infrastructure, examines the key factors expected to influence the deployment of NGV refueling infrastructure, including economic growth, fuel prices, NGV sales, equipment costs and regulations. The study provides an analysis of how all of these factors are projected to affect station operators, equipment suppliers and gas suppliers. Global market forecasts, segmented by fuel (CNG and LNG), type of station (public versus private) and region, extend through 2025. The report also examines the significant technical issues related to NGV refueling infrastructure, as well as the competitive landscape. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.