The report says the market for NGVs is gaining increased traction in many countries due to a combination of low-cost natural gas and sustained higher prices for gasoline and diesel. NGVs are fueled by natural gas that has been either compressed (CNG) or liquefied (LNG).
Navigant Research says light-duty vehicles account for the vast majority — about 95 percent — of NGVs on roads today. However, trucks and buses are growing at a faster rate and will likely account for 9 percent of the total fleet by 2020, according to the report.
While CNG vehicles span all vehicle weight classes, LNG vehicles are currently limited to heavy-duty trucks because of the size and cost of the storage equipment.
Asia Pacific has the most annual NGV sales with 1.2 million sales expected in 2013, the report says. China and Pakistan are the largest markets, but Thailand and India are the fastest growing. The report forecasts their compound annual growth rates at 18 percent and 12 percent, respectively, between 2013 and 2020.
North America is the fastest growing region with an expected 17 percent CAGR, Navigant Research says. NGV passenger cars are growing at the slowest rate (14 percent CAGR). The report attributes this to limited availability of both vehicles and refueling infrastructure. Buses and medium/heavy duty trucks, however, are growing at the fastest rates: 22 percent and 19 percent CAGR, respectively.
LNG truck sales in North America, led by the US, are expected to reach 4,128 sales in 2020, making it the second largest market after Asia Pacific. The report says new LNG infrastructure is driving growth in the truck market in both North America and Asia Pacific.
Frito-Lay opened its first compressed natural gas fueling station in Beloit, Wis., last week and announced that it will break ground on seven public CNG fueling stations across the US by the end of the year. Questar Fueling and Trillium CNG will build the seven CNG fueling stations.