General Motors' bi-fuel pickup

Driven by fleet and long-distance truck operators who want to save money in the face of climbing gasoline prices, global natural-gas truck sales will likely increase about 15 percent a year for the next six years, Pike Research predicts.

While compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles are far more prevalent than liquefied natural gas (LNG) trucks (there are only about 100 LNG refueling stations worldwide), sales of LNG vehicles will increase about 17 percent a year, compared to CNG's growth rate of about 14 percent. In all, Pike expects about 930,000 natural-gas vehicles will be sold worldwide between 2012 and 2019. Currently, the US has about 1,100 CNG refueling stations, compared to just 61 LNG stations, according to the US Department of Energy.

Vehicle makers and prospective customers have looked to natural-gas fueled vehicles as a way to cut dependency on oil that's produced in politically unstable regions, especially given the abundance of natural gas in North America. General Motors is one of the companies that have expanded the number of trucks that can run on CNG, and Honda has long produced a CNG-powered Civic for US drivers. Check out Pike Research's press release below.
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Nearly 1 Million Natural Gas Trucks and Buses Will Be Sold Worldwide from 2012 to 2019, Forecasts Pike Research

BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Because trucks and buses use significant amounts of fuel and tend to emit high levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs), diesel and natural gas (NG) vehicles are increasingly attractive options in these commercial markets. At the same time, the rebounding construction industry is pushing growth in the overall truck market while cities and municipalities look to expand their public transit systems. According to a recent report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, sales of natural gas trucks and buses will expand steadily over the remainder of the decade. More than 930,000 of these vehicles will be sold worldwide from 2012 to 2019, the study concludes.

"What's more, compared to diesel engines, natural gas provides a financial benefit. In most cases, the higher incremental cost of an NG vehicle is typically recovered, due to lower fuel costs, within two to seven years."

"NG vehicles emit substantially lower levels of GHGs, particulate matter, and nitrogen oxide than either gasoline- or diesel-powered trucks and buses," says senior research analyst Dave Hurst. "What's more, compared to diesel engines, natural gas provides a financial benefit. In most cases, the higher incremental cost of an NG vehicle is typically recovered, due to lower fuel costs, within two to seven years."

NG trucks typically run on compressed natural gas (CNG) because their tanks weigh less and are less costly than those for liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG trucks, however, are increasingly used as longer range vehicles (400 miles or more compared to 150 to 300 miles for CNG vehicles) and are seeing higher growth rates than CNG trucks (17 percent versus 14 percent in heavy duty trucks). The worldwide breakdown of refueling stations for these two types of natural gas is 117 LNG refueling stations versus 20,233 CNG refueling stations. About 45 percent of the LNG refueling stations are located in the United States, even though China has the largest annual sales for LNG fueled trucks, with 3,020 vehicle sales in 2012.

The report, "Natural Gas Trucks and Buses", analyzes the global market opportunity for natural gas vehicles in the medium and heavy duty truck and bus markets. The report provides a comprehensive assessment of the current market, fuel availability, demand drivers, policy factors, and technology issues associated with the growth of these vehicles. Key industry players are profiled in depth, and worldwide NG vehicle sales, vehicle segment sales, and cumulative refueling station availability are forecast through 2019. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.

About Pike Research
Pike Research, which joined Navigant's global Energy Practice on July 1, 2012, provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The team's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Pike Research can be found at www.navigant.com/pikeresearch.
About Navigant
Navigant (NYSE: NCI) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at www.navigant.com.