The California Energy Commission and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory are holding a workshop to solicit public feedback on the 2015 draft Natural Gas Vehicle Research Roadmap. The 2015 report updates the 2009 Natural Gas Vehicle Research Roadmap and provides the framework and foundation for future investments in research, development, demonstration, and deployment.
The report includes research recommendations on 1) range and storage; 2) engine performance and availability; 3) vehicle emission and environmental performance; and 4) analysis and information sharing. Low natural gas prices, increased supplies, and a changing regulatory landscape have impacted the natural gas vehicle market. These changes have also impacted traditionally fueled vehicles, changing the overall vehicle technology market.
Favorable economics and increased availability have transitioned the natural gas vehicle market to one that requires more attention to remaining market barriers experienced by both new and existing technologies. The emergence of competitive engine and vehicle offerings, from passenger cars to heavy-duty trucks, fueled by the growing availability of low-price natural gas presents greater public benefits. The synergistic effects of growing market-scale vehicle and fueling infrastructure availability translate into opportunities for future growth of natural gas vehicle adoption.—2015 draft Roadmap
The report notes that increased adoption of natural gas vehicles in California can reduce overall petroleum consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and fueling costs for utility ratepayers. The Roadmap recommends the following R&D actions be pursued in order to maximize those benefits:
Decrease the cost of on-board natural gas storage and increase vehicle integration of storage.
Increase natural gas engine and vehicle availability, improve efficiency and maintain similar performance characteristics to gasoline and diesel alternatives.
Advance technologies that continue to reduce NOx and greenhouse gas emissions.
Continue supporting current, accurate, and timely information on natural gas vehicle technologies and availability.
Continue coordination and collaboration between and among California and federal agencies with natural gas vehicle stakeholders to adapt to changing markets, customer needs, and technology developments.
According to the report, natural gas could offset more than 750 million gallons of diesel per year by 2022, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 4 million metric tons per year and saving the state approximately $1.35 billion in fueling costs annually.
Schroeder, Alex. (National Renewable Energy Laboratory). 2015. 2015 Natural Gas Vehicle Research Roadmap. California Energy Commission. Publication number: CEC-500-2015-091-D.