NGVA Europe. Italy, the European leader in natural gas vehicle (NGV) adoption, has seen a 16% increase in its natural gas vehicle parc from 676,850 at the end of 2009 to 785,000 vehicles by early 2012.
This number mainly comprises private cars and vans, which can be refueled at any of the 850 public refueling stations spread over the country.
The number of NGVs has reached this level over the last 30 years as a result of a very active retrofit conversion industry and the ready availability of most of the popular Fiat small and medium-sized cars and their commercial ex-factory CNG versions, according to the trade association NGVA (Natural & bioGas Vehicle Association) Europe.
The savings in fuel costs per kilometer for a medium duty car running on NG is about 60% compared with an equivalent gasoline engine and 33% compared with a diesel version, according to NGVA Europe. The availability of more new car models with ex-factory CNG options is pushing the growth of the NGV market share further.
On the commercial vehicle side, Italy counts some 1,200 CNG trucks, mainly operating in garbage collection services, and 2,300 urban buses.