Bloomberg tells us Fiat natural gas and propane sales are booming in Italy. “Deliveries of those cars in Italy surged 90 percent to 114,226 vehicles through August, accounting for 11.6 percent of the market, compared with 4.9 percent a year ago. That’s good news for Fiat, which says it has 90 percent of the market for natural gas cars and 47 percent of the propane car market in its home country.” The success of natural gas and propane vehicles is critical for Fiat as it doesn’t have an advanced electric-vehicle strategy.  The company is now hoping to have the same success in North America where government policies are encouraging the purchase of these vehicles. Higher retail prices for petrol in Italy has led to almost every auto manufacturer that sells in Europe to increase its offering of natural gas-powered vehicles in Italy, the continent’s biggest market for these cars.

TheGreenCar asks: Could natural gas vehicles be about to take off in the UK and Europe? The arrival of the new Mercedes B-Class natural gas vehicle next year may be a sign that they are. However, lacking a large fueling infrastructure and having to deal with right hand drive, natural gas is likely to remain a fleet option in the UK rather than something a typical car driver would consider. The post further notes natural gas vehicles are not restricted to natural gas but can also use synthetic gas and biogas. See also The Telegraph Are gas-powered cars making a comeback?

The Society of Automotive Analysts thinks natural gas could be the future transportation fuel for the US reports Energy & Capital. The general consensus is that long-haul trucking stands to benefit early on, with the trend spreading throughout the auto industry over time. Mustafa Mohatarem, chief economist at General Motors says: “The U. S. now has a 100-year supply of natural gas. I’d make a bet it’s the next big transportation fuel. The price is so much lower than gasoline – people will find a way to use it.” equities picks up on this theme with Truck-fleet shift to natural gas picks up steam and The Street notes 99 Cents Only Stores have leased 40 heavy duty natural gas trucks. The 40 CNG units will operate throughout the Greater Los Angeles area, carrying out store deliveries and vendor pickups.

MetroNews tells us the US state of West Virginia has received 10 bids from auto companies to sell CNG vehicles to the state in 2013.

Oil & Gas Financial Journal says a new fueling technology expands the range of natural gas vehicles. The FuelMule is a mobile fast-fill compressed natural gas fueling station that gives natural gas fleets fueling capability at their home base—or anywhere—without the need to build a fueling station. This technology helps to overcome the large capital investments required for building new fueling infrastructure and brings the fuel to where it is needed. Trucking fleets can have access to CNG with no capital investment and no fueling infrastructure maintenance.The FuelMule can fuel 35 to 50 medium to heavy-duty vehicles and separate electronic metering allows filling two vehicles simultaneously.

Next-Gen Transportation News tells us about plans to build 1000 CNG refueling stations in the US. DeBartolo Development LLC and partner Keystone Consulting Group are planning to do just that in the next 4 years. A 10-pilot station program is underway and the first pilot stations are planned to be operational during the first quarter of 2013. Four different CNG station models will be built and studied: private-access, single-user/owner; access limited to a select group of fleets; private- or limited-access stations with a public fast-fill unit outside of the gate; and public-access stations.






Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,