Increasing supplies of low-cost, readily available natural gas, along with expanding refueling infrastructure and increasingly strict vehicle emission requirements, are driving strong growth in the market for light-duty natural gas vehicles (NGVs), according to a new report released by research firm Navigant Research. The report says most of the growth is occurring in countries where a robust market for NGVs already exists, such as India, China, Thailand, and Brazil, and in countries where NGVs are a relatively small niche, such as the United States and Germany.
“A number of major automakers are refocusing their efforts in the NGV market, particularly in regions where interest in these vehicles is strong,” says Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “Overall, the number of NGVs on the world’s roadways will roughly double by 2023, at which time NGVs will account for 2.6 percent of all vehicles on the roads.”
The market for light-duty NGVs is not homogenous around the world or even within regions, according to the report. In North America, the market is heavily focused on fleet purchasers, while in parts of Western Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific, the consumer market plays a much bigger role. Whether a particular market is focused on fleets or private consumers has a significant impact on the NGVs available. In North America, the fleet market for NGVs remains relatively small, so automakers are content to rely on vehicle conversions by companies that complete the conversion prior to customer delivery.
An Executive Summary of the report, “Light Duty Natural Gas Vehicles”, is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.