With the cost of natural gas reaching historic lows in many regions, interest in natural gas vehicles (NGVs) is growing. The growth of the NGV market is inherently tied to the availability of the fuel, whether that fuel is compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) in heavier duty applications. As a result, the market for natural gas refueling infrastructure is experiencing robust growth, as companies look to capitalize on opportunities presented by potential NGV demand.
According to research from Navigant Research, the number of NGV refueling stations installed worldwide will reach nearly 30,000 by 2020. And North America will represent 40% of the global NGV refueling stations installed between 2013 and 2015, the report concludes.
“Creating a robust infrastructure to refuel NGVs is challenging on several fronts,” says Dave Hurst, principal research analyst with Navigant Research. “The cost of NGV refueling infrastructure is higher relative to other fuels, and any new pipelines needed for supplying CNG from the gas grid can make the viability of a new station challenging. Nevertheless, the lower cost of both CNG and LNG relative to gasoline and diesel is expected to increase demand for both vehicles and new refueling stations.”
Many of the competitors in the infrastructure market are focused on developing CNG refueling infrastructure within cities and suburban areas. CNG is largely used to serve light- and medium-duty vehicles that are likely to travel within a metro area or from one metro area to another without refueling. This infrastructure growth will help drive demand for NGVs within metropolitan areas. To connect different metro areas over longer distances, LNG is marketed as a replacement for diesel fuel, for use in fleet vehicles that travel extended distances.
The report, “Natural Gas Vehicle Refueling Infrastructure,” examines the market for CNG and LNG refueling station equipment and the drivers for the development of the NGV infrastructure market. The report includes updates on the current market and the cost drivers for the facilities, an assessment of the infrastructure supply chain and profiles of key players.