A recent report from Navigant Research analyzes the market for natural gas (NG) refueling infrastructure and the factors expected to influence its deployment, including global market forecasts segmented by fuel type, station type, and region, through 2025.
“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,” according to Navigant Research. “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.”
“For NG to reach its full potential as a transport fuel, easy access to refueling stations and a large population of NGVs are required,” says Sam Abuelsamid, senior research analyst. “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.