Sector: CNG

CNG cars successful in Germany

According to estimates made by the Initiative Erdgasmobilität (the Initiative for Natural Gas-Based Mobility), by the end of 2014 the number of CNG-powered cars offered on the German market will have doubled compared to the early 2012 figure.

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The Initiative Erdgasmobilität unites carmakers, refueling station chains, natural gas sector companies and the ADAC. Its actions are coordinated by the DENA (German Energy Agency) and the BMVI (German Fedral Ministry for Transport and Digital Infrastructure) supervises it.

According to the Initiative Erdgasmobilität report, in 2013 8900 natural gas-powered cars were sold in Germany, which is a 38% hike over the 2012 figure. Sales volumes of compact cars (Volkswagen Golf TGI BlueMotion, Audi A3 g-tron and Mercedes B-Class NGD) were a major contributory factor here. Natural gas is the most popular non-oil-based alternative fuel in Germany, with over 100 thousand cars running on it across the country.

The periodically prepared Initiative Erdgasmobilität report was presented on May 26, 2014, to Katherina Reiche, Parliamentary Secretary of State at the Federal Ministry for Transport. The figures contained within clearly demonstrate that the money spent to get the Initiative Erdgasmobilität going in 2011 have translated into a tangible increase in sales of CNG-powered vehicles over the years 2012-2013. The trend will most probably continue in 2014.

As the natural gas sector indicates, matters may be further improved, since current German government's coalition agreement contains a motion to extend natural gas and biomethane support by means of tax incentives. Parties involved in developing German CNG market should work to ensure the motion is executed in practice.

Thanks to the Initiative Erdgasmobilität's idea, a new EU directive proposes to standardise CNG sales units with those of conventional fuels (like they are in the US thanks to the advent of the GGE – gasoline gallon equivalent), so that their prices could be easier to compare directly.

Mobility based on natural gas has tremendous future. Natural gas has been classified by the German federal government as an important energy resource for light and heavy road transport as well as for water transport. Natural gas has the potential to contribute greatly to limiting carbon dioxide emissions from transport, particularly when enhanced with biomethane and synthetic methane produced with the use of renewable electric energy.
Katherina Reiche, Parliamentary Secretary of State at the Federal Ministry for Transport


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Piotr Złoty
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