Frost & Sullivan: Chinese NGV market grows on government policies

The Chinese compressed and liquefied natural gas commercial vehicle market is on an upward trend due to the improved economy, infrastructure development, and government subsidies.

With the Government implementing and supporting the new energy resource policy launched by the Department of Science & Technology and State Environmental Protection Administration, the prospects for compressed and liquefied NG CV manufacturers look bright.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, named Strategic Analysis of the Chinese Compressed Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas Commercial Vehicle Market, finds that total NG CV sales volumes stood at 78,200 units in 2013 and estimates this to reach 246,000 units by 2020 at a compound annual growth rate of 17.8 percent. The study covers medium-duty and heavy-duty NG trucks and buses.

“The central government is promoting green transportation in more than 100 cities within China, and every regional government is adapting and coordinating accordingly,” said Frost & Sullivan Automotive & Transportation Research Associate Ming Lih Chan. “In fact, Shanghai, Chengdu, Xinjiang and Hebei have already replaced more than 85 percent of their existing fleets with NG buses.

However, the supply of NG and components of automobiles that use this fuel continues to be limited. Main issues revolve around the geological structure of the country – gas reserves are deeper than in the US – and technical problems surrounding energy supply, quality control and assurance of the fuel. As a result, many fleets are operating in markedly tight conditions in order to keep up with the Government’s NG infrastructure plan. This, along with the high cost of NG technology components in CVs, acts as major deterrents to expanded usage.

Poor consumer perception of NG technology and the lack of filling stations in the country have also set back the market. Nevertheless, the improving performance of NG CVs and an expected increase in the number of filling stations from the 4,000 in 2013 to 18,000 by 2020, will do away with the initial apprehensions.

“NG supply shortages are also set to become a thing of the past due to the large shale gas reserve base in China,” pointed out Chan.

He concluded that not only will this boost the value proposition of NG commercial vehicles, but it will bring down NG prices.