Global NGVs sales to reach 3.2 million units annually by 2016
NGVs have been available to varying degrees since the 1970s, and earlier in some parts of the world. Despite this long history, adoption varies significantly from region to region, with NGVs used mainly for commercial vehicles in North America and parts of Western Europe and for consumer markets in parts of Asia and the Middle East.
The primary growth drivers in these countries are the favorable economics of natural gas, the reduction of oil imports, the environmental benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions, and the availability of vehicle and refueling stations, said the research firm.
Dave Hurst, senior analyst at Pike Research, said: â€œCorporate and government fleets are the strongest adopters of natural gas vehicles. Not only will this trend continue, but in fact fleet sales will increase as a percentage of all NGV sales, representing two-thirds of the total market by 2013. More and more fleet managers are attracted to the lower fuel costs of natural gas, in addition to the opportunity to reduce their vehiclesâ€™ carbon footprint.â€
Mr Hurst adds that refueling infrastructure remains a key challenge for the NGV market, and the ratio of vehicles to stations is still too high, which is particularly a hurdle for the consumer NGV market. While the number of NGV refueling stations will increase in the coming years, Pike Research forecasts that the expanding infrastructure will not keep pace with the growth of the vehicle market.
The research firm expects that refueling stations will increase from approximately 18,000 in 2010 to just fewer than 26,000 in 2016, a 5.9 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR). This compares to a 7.9 percent CAGR in natural gas vehicles on the road during the same period.
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