CASPIO.NET says the number of vehicles running on compressed natural gas (CNG) in Kazakhstan, to reach 54,000 units in 2018. To meet Euro 3 and Euro 4 emission standards the Central American country has adopted a program of making motor vehicles switch to natural gas.

NGV Global has data on 2011 natural gas vehicles for the top 10 countries. Iran heads the list with 2.859 million vehicles on the road, slightly ahead of Pakistan at 2.85 million. Altogether, NGV Global found more than 15 million natural gas vehicles recorded across 84 countries at the end of 2011, rising from the end 2010 figure of 12,674,402. That represents growth of 33% over 2010. Continued strong growth in Asia and the opening up of the North American market with domestic production of NGVs will likely see that growth continue. You can access the data here.

ThomasNet announces a natural gas vehicle symposium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in August. The SAE 2012 Shale Gas Impact on Vehicle Development Symposium will focus on the impact of natural gas vehicle adoption, shale gas exploration and natural gas Infrastructure on bi-fuel vehicle production. The conference organizers describe this as a “first-of-its-kind leadership forum is focused on bridging the gap between energy companies and automotive/truck manufacturers to bring natural gas vehicles to the mainstream market.”

We learn about the new Dodge Ram CNG pick-up track at the examiner. (See photo above.) The vehicle is bi-fuel with both compressed gas storage tanks and a gasoline fuel tank. If the CNG tanks are emptied, the vehicle will automatically switch to gasoline. The Ram 2500 CNG-only range is estimated to be 255 miles, while the backup supply of gasoline extends the range to 367 total miles.

The Jacksonville Business Journal says firms in the Florida city are turning to natural gas fuel. We are told that companies with sizable truck and car fleets are switching to compressed natural gas to run their vehicles.

More US municipalities are looking at switching their fleets to natural gas. The city of Lawrence, Kansas has added its first natural gas-powered vehicle to its fleet of nearly 500 vehicles (a converted Ford F150 pickup truck) as an experiment to determine if it should convert more vehicles to the less expensive fuel. Sugarland, Texas is considering a plan to convert its 290 gasoline vehicles to natural gas and a school board in St. Louis, Missouri is seeking to convert 30 of its 148 school buses to CNG.

Green Car Reports reminds us that owning a natural gas vehicle is not fun when there are very few refueling stations. On long trips in the US some are forced to drive 100 miles out of their way to fill up. “At the moment, there are around 930 natural gas filling stations in the U.S. Of those, more than half are open to the public, but many more are private filling stations ran by local businesses and governments exclusively for fleet use. The number of stations varies greatly from state to state…” The site predicts that, because of driver range anxiety, the switch over to natural gas for the average automobile driver will be slow in most states until sufficient infrastructure is in place.


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