NGVA Europe: Steady NGV Growth in Europe

NGVA Europe published a new statistical update for the NGV (Natural Gas Vehicle) development in Europe and worldwide, showing a strong market development in the world of 12% compared with mid 2010, only 5% for total Europe, but 9% for the EU & EFTA countries.

There are now 1,4 million methane powered vehicles pan-European, thereof more than 1 million in the EU & EFTA countries and 13.5 million units worldwide. The pan-European NGV development since 2003 is shown on the picture.

There are three main reasons why the NGV market in Europe so far has been growing comparatively slower than in Asia or Latin America:

1. In Europe (or at least the EU/EFTA countries) NGV market growth is based on sales of new OEM vehicles. Only some 6-7% of the total volume of vehicles will be replaced by new vehicles. Outside Europe the growth is to a very large extent still based on conversions of existing vehicle fleets.

2. In Europe there are considerably smaller fuel cost advantages than outside Europe. NGV’s, regardless of vehicle category mainly compete with diesel vehicles. Outside Europe the competition is mainly petrol powered vehicles.

3. EU/EFTA like North America is a mature market with no large growth in the total fleet of vehicles. On the other hand, there is a dramatic growth of vehicle numbers in various fast developing economies, particularly in Asia which will quickly add numbers for all types of vehicles, regardless of the fuel used.

It is however to be expected that Europe will become a major market for CNG in light, medium and heavy duty vehicles (cars, vans, urban buses and trucks) and LNG medium and heavy duty trucks (as well as ships) using a mix of natural gas and bomethane up the road to 2020 and beyond. Main drivers will be more stringend emission policies set by the EU and also the availibility of brand new OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) CNG and LNG offers. European manufacturers have to meet the Euro VI standard in January 2014 and cars registered in the EU by 2012 shall not exceed 120 g/km. Several new OEM offers of e.g. CNG LDVs (Light Duty Vehicles), able to meet these targets, have been introduced or announced at the recent Frankfurt motorshow IAA, including the Volkswagen Up! (2012), Opel Zafira Tourer, Opel Combo (2012), Fiat Panda, Mercedes-Benz B-class (2012) or the Audi A3 (2013).

In Europe, some 70.000 NGV units (cars, vans, buses and trucks) have been sold since mid 2010 and NGVA Europe, the Natural & bio Gas Vehicle Association estimates that the European marketplace has a huge growth potential where the market share of methane (CNG, LNG and biomethane) powerded vehicles will grow from 0,4%, where it stands today, to 5% in 2020, 9% in 2030 and 16% -20% by 2050.

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Source: NGVA Europe, October 2, 2011

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