Natural gas is the cleanest burning fossil fuel and consequently has the emissions advantage over diesel and gasoline. Owing to their low emission properties, the environmental protection agency (EPA) has been able to set stricter emission mandates (particularly with NOx and atmospheric particulate matter reductions) that forced expensive diesel emission technology to be created to be as environmental friendly as natural gas. Both CNG and LPG provide environmental advantages, as the vehicles must be certified to new demanding emission limits that require today’s motor vehicles to be 90% cleaner for most pollutants in European and other developed nations. The biggest benefit in both CNG and LPG is to introduce them to replace older, pollutant diesel vehicles.
The major reasons for the growth of global CNG and LPG vehicle market includes federal and state government policies fostering the development of CNG and LPG fuel as a transportation fuel. Government policies will continue to shape the future development of the natural gas vehicle (NGV) over the coming years. Further, cost of fueling with CNG and LPG is substantially cheaper than petroleum-based fuels, even when necessary costs are included, both buying relatively more expensive NGVs, and developing fueling infrastructure, fleet operators have a potential opportunity to capitalize on a major cost-saving. Expansion of LPG and CNG fueling network is also expected to drive the CNG and LPG vehicle market in future.
As U.S. natural-gas prices have fallen and supplies have increased in recent years, compressed-natural-gas (CNG) vehicles are garnering renewed attention. Major automakers, such as Ford Motor Company and General Motors Company, announced plans for a half-dozen different vehicle models powered by CNG. Hydraulic fracturing and other advanced extraction techniques have made natural gas reserves economical, created price stability, and significantly increased supply projections for and long term. Sustained low prices for natural gas, coupled with higher and more volatile gasoline and diesel prices have accelerated market adoption of CNG and LPG vehicles in the North American region, particularly in heavy-duty vehicle market. Oil is sourced from politically unstable or potentially hostile places, including Latin America, Russia, and especially the Middle East. Political instability in the Middle East often translates into price volatility and also raise periodic concerns about supply interruptions. Increased use of natural gas would translate into lessened dependence on energy imports from these politically unstable parts of the world.
The developing economies such as India and China are expected to create major opportunity for CNG and LPG vehicles manufacturers owing to the increasing demand for commercial vehicles and passenger cars, accompanied by the uncertainty in oil prices and stringent regulations for low emission. The strict emission standard set by European Union (EU) has forced OEM to comply with set standards, which in turn is driving the market of CNG and LPG vehicles in Europe.
Some of the major players operating in the global CNG and LPG vehicle market include Ford Motor Company, Suzuki Motor Corporation, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, Honda Motor Company, Volkswagen Group, Hyundai Motor Group, General Motors Company, Groupe Renault, Kia Motors Corporation, Mercedes-Benz, The Volvo Group, Isuzu Motors Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corporation and Mitsubishi Motors Corporation.