According to a new report from Navigant Research, global sales of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are expected to grow from 2.3 million annually in 2014 to 3.9 million in 2024. Increasingly stringent fuel economy and tailpipe emissions standards in major automotive markets are driving automakers to provide alternatives to traditional gasoline- and diesel-fueled internal combustion engines. Natural gas is proving to be increasingly popular with high-mileage private and government fleet owners as well as consumers in areas or regions with very high petrol prices. Increased natural gas production in North America as well as additional pipelines for distribution in Asia Pacific and Europe, is reducing prices for natural gas. NGV markets in a number of regions are expected to grow significantly over the next decade, particularly China. Natural gas is the cleanest-burning transportation fossil fuel available today that can economically power light-, medium- and heavy-duty vehicles.

The annual volume of light-duty natural gas vehicles in North America is expected to reach 56,000 in 2024. Total NGV sales by then should hit 80,000, with only 9% of that number being passenger cars. More than half (49,000 vehicles) of the 2024 North American total would be light-duty trucks. Higher fuel taxes in Canada are expected make natural gas a more attractive transportation fuel in that country.

Large Dutch cities are relying on cheaper coal power for their electricity generation a recent survey found. Moreover, under their contracts with GDF Suez and E.ON they will continue to do so in the coming years.  These cities include Rotterdam, Tilburg, Zwolle and Den Bosch, Delft, Zoetermeer, Leidschendam-Voorburg, Wassenaar,  The Hague, Amsterdam and Leiden along with the provinces of Utrecht and Overijssel. The local councils who have signed these supply contracts appear to be choosing the lower cost of coal vis-a-vis higher priced renewable sources to generate the electricity they need.

In 2016 China will continue to be the world leader in starting and completing new domestic nuclear power plants. It has 30 reactors in operation and 21 under construction. The Asian country will also continue to pursue its export business with deals in Argentina, Romania, and the UK. Finland will start work to build its sixth and seventh nuclear reactors. In Japan as many as 6 shutdown reactors may restart next year. In contrast, in the US old reactors will continue to close as the price of cheaper natural gas makes their operation unaffordable in the long run.

A Chinese leasing firm has signed an agreement with a Chinese automobile company to produce 150,000 electric vehicles in five years. National Modern Energy Holdings (NMEH) said its Swedish company, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS), will produce the EVs by the end of 2020 based on the Saab 9-3 sedan-platform. NEVS took over Swedish car manufacturer Saab’s assets and technologies after Saab’s bankruptcy in 2012.

A partnership between automakers BMW and Nissan has constructed 120 fast electric car charging stations in 19 US states. The dual-port 50 kilowatt fast-charging stations enable EV batteries to be charged up to 80% within 30 minutes. The charging stations can be used on any electric vehicle equipped with fast-charge ports. EV drivers can now access these chargers in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, New Mexico, Nevada, New York, North and South Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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