From the Bangkok Post we learn there are now over one million LPG (liquid petroleum gas) vehicles on the road in Thailand.  The latest government figures reveal there are 1,014,089 vehicles registered as having LPG engines.

Energy Global thinks that LNG (liquified natural gas) is going to be an important fuel in our transportation future. In a carbon constrained energy world there is a greater need for clean fuels, and LNG is going to be one of them. “LNG is one of the fastest growing segments of the global natural gas market and since it can be delivered to any destination with an LNG receiving terminal, this fuel is oftentimes more accessible when compared with pipeline gas.”  LNG demand is expected to rise by 4.6% annually over the next 15 year. In 2010, LNG’s share of the global gas supply was 9%; by 2030 it is expected to reach 15%. Its growth is forecast to be strong especially in the transportation sector where it is cleaner than and price competitive with diesel for heavy trucking and marine transport. The US, China and Europe are all putting in place policies to encourage greater use of natural gas in the transportation sector.

The opportunity for LNG in transportation is huge. Excluding LNG carriers, there are currently only 20 to 25 LNG fuelled vessels in operation, less than 1% of the world’s total commercial marine fleet. The situation is similar for road transportation vehicles where natural gas vehicles make up less than 2% of total vehicles on the road.

While the industry is not without challenges, the various instruments of government, industry, private sector and consumers are coming together to work towards an energy efficient future, thereby paving the path for LNG to be a fuel of the future. 

In a related article, Climate Spectator tells how Northern European ports are converting their marine fuel from diesel to LNG. A combination of European regulations to reduce greenhouse gases and an increase in the number of marine vessels running on LNG is spurring ports in North Europe to install LNG fuel stations for ships, known as bunkering, before the end of this decade.

MSN Money notes that propane is attracting more interest in the US as a transportation fuel. While there are more than 13 million vehicles using propane (sometimes called autogas) worldwide, it has remained a niche product in the United States, in part due to the high cost of the fuel compared to other alternatives. However, that is now changing as a result of the natural gas revolution in the US. Propane production is booming and its price has fallen 85 cents per gallon, less than $2 per gallon than gasoline or diesel. Drawn by this price incentive companies are beginning to purchase propane powered vehicles or convert existing vehicles to propane.  See also WPSD Crittenden Co. 1st in state to try propane buses, Multichannel Dish Lights Up Propane Vans, and Truck News Interest in natural gas-powered trucks continues to grow.

TechNavio has a new report out on the global compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle market. The market research firm forecasts the market will grow to 19.8 million units by 2015 driven by its price advantage over petrol. Auto manufacturers and conversion specialists are producing an increasing number of bi-fuel vehicles to meet the demand for CNG. However, insufficient compressed natural gas fueling stations poses the major barrier to a more rapid expansion of this fuel in the transportation sector. In related posts about the US market see the Times Colonist Natural gas vehicle sales rise thanks to fuel’s lower price and NGV Global News Natural Gas Fuel Momentum in USA Dissolves Chicken-Egg Conundrum.

Insider Monkey looks at the two challenges facing the adoption of natural gas vehicles in the US — the cost of NGVs and the lack of refueling infrastructure.

The overall usage of natural gas vehicles in the U.S. remains minimal. Currently, only about 0.1% of American vehicles use the cleaner-burning hydrocarbon as a fuel source. Adoption for natural gas passenger vehicles has been ever slower…There are two main issues here: Natural gas vehicles are expensive and there is a dearth of refueling stations across the country.

See also The Motley Fool What’s Holding Back Natural Gas Vehicles?  and Next Gen Transportation News The Beautiful Banality of Natural Gas Refueling. The latter tells us about a planned CNG fueling station in the US which will cost $1 million but may never recoup its investment.  This captures the risk of being a private sector entrepreneur in a new business you hope will thrive.

The State Journal tells us the driving experience for natural gas vehicles is the same as driving a gasoline powered car.

Transport Topics notes the US government has created tax breaks to spur the demand for natural gas powered trucks. The tax deductions will be made available to fleet owners, auto manufacturers and equipment makers, and for the installation of CNG and LNG refueling infrastructure. Meanwhile, DAWN writes about how China hopes the transition to natural gas in its transportation sector will lower its demand for oil and reduce pollution in its major cities. The focus is on creating incentives to encourage the production and use of LNG and CNG trucks, buses and taxis in cities.

Shell is adding two new natural gas transportation corridors in North America we learn from eurasia review. Shell is investing in two small-scale liquefaction unit that will form the basis of two new LNG transport corridors in the Great Lakes and Gulf Coast regions. This will enable the company to supply LNG to its marine and trucking customers in those regions. See also Green Car Congress Shell to build LNG units in Gulf Coast and Great Lakes regions.

Torque News says Ford goes all in for CNG/LPG vehicles. As consumer demand increases for CNG and LPG vehicles, Ford is expanding its NGV offerings in this growing alternative-fuel market segment, with eight trucks and vans. as well as two ready to modify chassis.  The Aiken Standard adds that Ford is working with scientists at the Savannah River National Laboratory to study new ways to power vehicles using natural gas. Not to be outdone, GM says it is going to build more vehicles powered by natural gas as well says the Houston Chronicle.

NGV Global News reports that GAZ Group, Russia’s largest manufacturer of commercial vehicles, will begin mass production of bi-fuel light commercial vehicles (LCV), running on gasoline and compressed natural gas (CNG) later this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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