McKinsey & Company asks: Self-driving car technology: When will the robots hit the road? “A close examination of the technologies required to achieve advanced levels of autonomous driving suggests…such vehicles are perhaps five to ten years away.”

Volkswagen Group is in talks with Exxon Mobil Corp. and Russia’s Gazprom to support its efforts to promote automobiles powered by natural gas.  CEO Matthias Mueller says the German automaker is working on a shift towards electric cars and fuel-saving technologies as it looks to lower its fleet-wide carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and to overcome its diesel-emissions scandal. Mueller said:

“We are now really trying to think out of the box and find solutions that can be helpful at least in this transition period of 10 to 20 years.”

WhaTech predicts the global compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle market will grow at a 4.9% annual rate over the 2017-2021 period. Future Market Insights is more optimistic saying the global automotive natural gas vehicle market (both CNG and LNG) will expand at an annual growth rate of around 5-7% between 2017 and 2025, due to stringent government emission regulations and a growing demand for fuel efficient vehicles. (CNG is primarily used in automobiles, light trucks and locomotives while LNG is used in heavier vehicles like buses and transport trucks.)

ACT Research reported that last year US and Canadian sales of heavy-duty trucks running on natural gas were at a 3% share of the overall heavy-duty truck market.

In the US, the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad is converting its entire 31 locomotives fleet to duel fuel diesel/CNG. This is the first railway in the US to convert to CNG. By 2020, 70% of the fleet will be using CNG as its primary fuel source. The Indian Harbor Belt Railroad, located in Chicago and northwest Indiana, is the largest terminal switching railroad in North America.

In India, state-owned Indian Railways has issued a tender for conversion of an additional 30 locomotives to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). There are currently 17 locomotives running on CNG in its fleet. Indian Railways is also trialling liquefied natural gas (LNG). The move to natural gas is part of the railway’s plan to save $6.5 billion on energy use over the next decade.

Indonesia is converting 5,000 taxis and government vehicles to compressed natural gas (CNG). The Indonesian government is actively promoting the usage of natural gas in order to reduce pollution and diversify fuel in the public transportation sector. New legislation that is expected to require all gasoline stations to have at least one dispenser of natural gas.

The National Association of Convenience Stores has an article on the history of fuels retailing in the US.

 

 

 

 

 

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