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German Natural Gas Vehicle Sales Up 82.4% in May from Year Before

Trägerkreises Erdgasfahrzeuge reports a sharp increase in natural gas vehicle registrations in Germany.

According to data from the Kraftfahrt-Bundesamtes (KBA), registrations of passenger car natural gas vehicles (NGVs) reached 1,047 in May 2006, up 82.4% from the 574 registrations in May 2006.

From May to June 2007, passenger car NGV registrations are up 19% from the same period in 2006. By contrast, registrations of conventional passenger cars dropped 9.6% over the same five month period in 2007, compared to 2006.

Overall, more than 4,800 new natural gas vehicles were registered in Germany from January to May 2007. The German natural gas vehicle fleet now totals more than 60,000.

Volkswagen was the top NGV car vendor in Germany for the five-month period in 2007, with 1,998 units sold. Opel followed in second place with 1,658 units and Fiat came in third with 614.

Daimler Chrysler sold 109 units; Citroën, 102; and Renault, 82 during the period.



In Germany I don't see how NGV vehicles help the overall energy picture, though they do produce less toxic pollutants. Whether it is oil or gas, Germany has to import. NGV vehicles would make more sense in places where gas is "stranded" - a long way from major customers - such as the Persian Gulf. In the rest of the world, gas should be reserved for heating, cooking, and fertilizer production.


I agree with the last comment - gas should be reserved for cooking, heating, etc. It should be used as little as possible for generating electricity, except for a bit of load balancing.

I think it would be OK to use it in vehicles especially in cities where pollution is an issue - better than generating H2 from it anyway.
You might be able to scale up biomass for power generation, or even biofuels.

Coal or Nukes should be used for base-load electricity unless you have loads of hydro, and if they can get the CO2 sequestration for 10% of the energy generated, we might be in business.


Yup, peak oil is enough of a challenge without moving our transportation to NG and then facing a double whammy on peak gas.

John Baldwin

In Germany 20% of the gas used in cars and vans is going to be bio-methane which reduces the CO2 per kmm from CNG to around 50% of that from gasoline, also increases security of supply as bio-methane is home grown, petrol is from Middle East.

The remarkable thing about the German NGV growth is that good quality CNG vehicles are only just coming through, previous models have been based on petrol engine conversions. Expect to se huge growth when you can have great vehicle performance at around 5)5 of the CO2 of petrol. Why bother with a Prius when you can have a Merc E Class or VW Passat CNG instead?

There should be 1000 CNG filling stations in 2008!


I second Neil's comment. Shifting to an alternate fuel should only be considered when we have begun to become more responsible with our consumption habbits of petrol and are on the road to an alternative away from fossil fuels. NG should be a buffer to make the transition smoother and not be faced with a 1970s style shortage.

On that, if NG offers a 10 yr buffer post peak oil (soonish, if not now), and nukes offer another 10, we would be left with solar/wind or coal. Wind/solar cannot cover what we need in the short term until high density solar concentrators and ocean based wind/tide turbines become commonplace.
Coal will be worth its weight in oil 20-30 yrs from now because we still need to produce 1000 things out of it not related to fuel (in the absence of oil).

Not putting any bets on ITER either for an alternative for the next 40 yrs, as it is complex and large. Technology refinement and eventual delivery of a reliable 'plug and play lump' will take decades to deliver around the world, let alone the construction and commissioning time.
And who really knows the actual environmental and monetary cost of deuterium and tritium extraction from water, as well as the mainenance of the reactor. At this point engineers are just concerned with proving to the world that they can make a reactor that doesn't turn into a solid blob of molten alloy after 5 minutes.

In short, more money on solar and wind research. :)

Max Reid

Saying that Nat-gas should be reserved for cooking & heating is like telling that women should do only cooking and statying at home.

There are 4 source of Nat-gas
1 - Gasfields
2 - Bio (Garbage, Cowdung, etc)
3 - Coalbed (Coal-bed and using Coal->Gas conversion)
4 - Hydrates (Gas is stored in solid form in Sea and the technology to extract is coming closer.

Developing countries are the leader in the CNG field.

Last year, there was 2.5 % growth in nat-gas consumption while Oil grew by only

So far, nat-gas could be transported only by pipelines, but now the LNG tankers & terminals are becoming common place.

We have lot more Nat-gas than oil and the CNG vehicles will become more commonplace in the future.


NGVs looks great if you want to be a pollyanna or need to push industry propaganda, but if future NG supplies are viewed with the same skepticism as future oil supplies, the future isn't so bright: LNG trains are hugely expensive, hydrates have yet to be tapped and estimates of commerically viable resources vary wildly, bio-methane is great but won't be enough to replace the volume of fossil supplies already in use, coal is already highly in demand to generate electricity, many NG production areas have peaked, and so on. And then there are the CO2 emissions to consider. In America the NG picture is particularly unpleasant:

So I stand by what I said.

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