Increasingly stringent fuel economy and tailpipe emissions standards in every major market around the world provide an impetus for vehicle manufacturers to provide alternatives to traditional gasoline- and diesel-fueled internal combustion engines. For many applications, particularly high-mileage fleet operators and consumers in regions with high retail prices for liquid fuels, natural gas (NG) can provide an excellent option for reducing both operating costs and CO2 emissions.
However, a number of factors could hinder the near-term growth prospects for natural gas vehicles (NGVs) in several regions. For instance, political tensions in Eastern Europe could affect the supply and prices of gas exports from Russia to Western Europe. Still, demand for NGVs is expected to continue growing worldwide, particularly in developing markets where air pollution has already become a serious issue. NG extraction is now at record levels, and production from non-traditional sources, including hydraulic fracturing of shale gas, is expected to continue increasing through the remainder of this decade. According to Navigant Research, global annual NGV sales are expected to grow from 2.5 million vehicles in 2014 to 4.3 million in 2024.
Navigant Research has released a report which examines the global market for NGVs, with a focus on passenger cars, light-duty trucks, medium- and heavy-duty trucks and buses, and commercial vehicles. The study provides an analysis of the key factors expected to influence demand for NGVs, including economic growth, fuel prices, infrastructure availability, acquisition costs, regulations, and technical issues. Global market forecasts for vehicle sales, vehicles on the road, refueling stations, NG consumption, and CNG cylinders, broken down by vehicle segment and region, extend through 2024. The study also analyzes how the market and technology issues will affect automobile and truck manufacturers, suppliers of NG engines, fuel storage and delivery hardware, and the companies that convert liquid-fueled vehicles to NG.