According to a new report from Pike Research, worldwide natural gas vehicle (NGV) sales will increase at a healthy pace over the next several years, rising from 1.9 million vehicles per year in 2010 to more than 3.2 million units annually by 2016.
Overall, Pike projects the current 12.6 million unit global NGV market which we forecast will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.9% to reach 19.9 million vehicles by 2016. Natural gas refueling station development is not expected to achieve the same growth rate, but will reach nearly 26,000 stations worldwide by 2016.
The growth in vehicles will lead to growth in usage of natural gas for transportation fuel, which Pike expects to reach 19,123 million cubic meters of gas globally (6.7% CAGR between 2010 and 2016).
Pike expects India to overtake Iran for the lean in NGV sales in 2014, and targets that market at 612,389 NGVs in 2016 (12.0% CAGR). Iran and Pakistan are expected to rank second and third, respectively.
China will see strong growth (20.8% CAGR) as NGVs spread in the fleet and consumer markets; overall, however, NGVs will remain a small percentage of the market as China’s government is expected to continue to focus on electrification.
Pike expects the US market to show the strongest growth—25.4% CAGR between 2010 and 2016—resulting in 32,619 vehicles sold in 2016. The potential for new emissions regulations on both light duty and medium- and heavy-duty vehicles and the passage of some form of the NAT GAS Act early in 2011 are expected to contribute to the US growth.
Corporate and government fleets are the strongest adopters of natural gas vehicles. Not only will this trend continue, but in fact fleet sales will increase as a percentage of all NGV sales, representing two-thirds of the total market by 2013. More and more fleet managers are attracted to the lower fuel costs of natural gas, in addition to the opportunity to reduce their vehicles’ carbon footprint.Pike senior analyst Dave Hurst
Adoption of NGVs historically has varied significantly from region to region, with NGVs used mainly for commercial vehicles in North America and parts of Western Europe and for consumer markets in parts of Asia and the Middle East. The primary growth drivers in these countries are the favorable economics of natural gas, the reduction of oil imports, the environmental benefits of lower greenhouse gas emissions, and the availability of vehicle and refueling stations.