Forecast: 1 million new NG-fueled vehicles to hit global roads by 2019

Pike Research recently issued a forecast calling for the sale of nearly 1 million (MM) new natural gas (NG)-fueled trucks and buses on roads worldwide between 2012 and 2019.

Since trucks and buses use significant amounts of fuel and tend to emit high levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs), diesel- and NG-fueled vehicles (NGVs) are increasingly attractive options in these commercial markets.

Pike Research's report analyzes the global market opportunity for NGVs in the medium- and heavy-duty truck and bus markets.

Researchers noted that NG provides a financial benefit because, in most cases, the higher incremental cost of a NGV is typically recovered, due to lower fuel costs, within two to seven years.

NG trucks typically run on compressed natural gas (CNG) because their tanks weigh less and are less costly than those for liquefied natural gas (LNG).

LNG trucks, however, are increasingly used as longer-range vehicles (400 miles or more, compared to 150–300 miles for CNG vehicles) and are seeing higher growth rates than CNG trucks (17% vs. 14% in heavy-duty trucks).

The worldwide breakdown of refueling stations for these two types of NG is 117 LNG refueling stations vs. 20,233 CNG refueling stations. Around 45% of the LNG refueling stations are located in the US, even though China has the largest annual sales for LNG fueled trucks, with 3,020 vehicles sold in 2012.

The consultancy expects sales of NG trucks and buses to expand steadily over the remainder of the decade. More than 930,000 of these vehicles will be sold worldwide in the seven years to 2019, the study concludes.

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