The Detroit News says Volkswagon is considering selling natural gas cars in the US. Currently, only Honda sells a CNG-powered car in the US. The world’s largest car maker, VW, has been selling CNG vehicles for a decade in Europe. Before it will commit to the American market, however, VW wants assurances from the US government that it will do more to encourage the building of natural gas refueling stations for vehicles.

Meanwhile, NGV Global News tells us Mercedes Benz has a new natural gas powered taxi. The B 200 Natural Gas Drive is expected to reduce fuel costs for European taxi drivers by 50%.

The Canton.Rep discusses the pros and cons of CNG.

Next-Gen Transportation News tells us the Florida Panhandle is becoming a mecca for natural gas vehicles. With cost savings of $1.60 per gallon and increasing refueling infrastructure, government and private fleets are shifting to CNG vehicles in this northern part of the US state of Florida.

150 of Canada’s leading fleet operators will be meeting in Toronto October 1-2 for the 1st Natural Gas Vehicle Canada Conference & Exhibition.

There were several posts this week about the increasing use of LNG (liquified natural gas) in the marine industry around the world. BC Ferries, which operates along the coast of  the Canadian province of British Columbia, is building three passenger/car ferries that will operate on LNG. Two-145 vehicle ferries are expected to be in service in 2016 and the 125-vehicle ferry is expected to enter service in 2017. Denmark has its first LNG fueled ferry reports NGV Global News. DNV Maritime will operate the first journey between the island of Samsø and Jutland on the Danish mainland on October 1st,  2014. The ferry can carry a maximum of 600 passengers and 160 cars. George Prokopiou shipping enterprises took delivery of  two ice-class membrane LNG tankers in July. The dual-fuel diesel engines allow the ships to run on either liquified natural gas or marine diesel oil. The ships will operate on charter to Russia’s Gazprom and Norway’s Statoil for use in Arctic waters. The Port of Antwerp, Belgium, has received a subsidy from the European Unionn to develop and build a LNG bunkering station for barges. The objective is to have the station in operation by the end of 2015 when strict EU marine emission standards will be in effect. The EU is also providing subsidies to the ports of Gothenburg, Sweden and Rotterdam in the Netherlands to construct LNG refueling terminals. Siem Offshore, a Norway based provider of marine services to the oil and gas industry, has ordered its second LNG  platform supply vessel to commence operations in 2015.

US transportation company Central Freight Lines, Inc. has added 100 compressed natural gas tractors equipped with Cummins Westport natural gas engines to its fleet of more than 1,600 trucks. The company is also partnering to build new CNG refueling stations in the Texas cities of Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio as a result of the decision to convert the fleet to CNG technology.

Next-Gen Transportation News informs us natural gas refueling stations are experiencing “robust growth” globally. Navigant Research forecasts 30,000 natural gas refueling stations in operation worldwide by 2020. North America will account for 40% of these installations between 2013 and 2015.

Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant Research says, “the lower cost of both CNG and LNG relative to gasoline and diesel is expected to increase demand for both vehicles and new refueling stations.”

Two companies in Canada’s province of Quebec, Gaz Métro Transport Solutions and La Coop fédérée, have signed an agreement to launch the first public stations in eastern Canada to offer natural gas as a transport fuel. NGV Global News says these stations will also offer diesel, gasoline, propane and biofuel, and electricity to users. This partnership is part of the Blue Road, which will build a network of public LNG and CNG fueling stations for the heavy trucking industry on the corridor of highways 20 and 401 in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. The first station will be in operation this fall. LNG is currently about 40% less expensive than diesel.

The same source tells us CNG Net has opened its 55th CNG refueling station in the Netherlands.

Refuse and recycling company, Waste Management, has opened its 50th CNG refueling station in the US.  While the stations are designed to refuel its large fleet of refuse trucks, 18 of its stations are available for public use.

The Jakarta Post reports that Indonesian city is preparing to convert its city buses to natural gas. With the cost of CNG only one-third of that of petrol, Jakarta has entered a tender process to procure 450 new gas-fueled Transjakarta buses and 800 minibuses by the end of this year, and another 1,000 and 3,000, respectively, by the end of 2014. In addition it is preparing to convert 3,000 bajaj (three-wheeled taxis) every year to use natural gas along with the entire fleet of city government vehicles.

 

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