Europe pushes for natural gas
Decisions made recently in Europe may result in increased market dynamics for vehicles powered by natural gas. The German government decided to extend the reduced rate of tax for natural gas used as engine fuel, and the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the member states that operates within the Council of European Union in Brussels confirmed that an agreement has been reached on carbon dioxide emission levels in new cars. It is expected that both decisions will increase the sales of cars powered by natural gas in Europe.
The coalition agreement between the leading German political parties (CDU, CSU and SPD) states that the reduced rate of tax on natural gas used as fuel will be in force even after 2018 (so far it covered the period up to 2018). Thanks to this, natural gas will remain significantly cheaper than traditional fuels (petrol and diesel) for a much longer period of time.
It’s crucial, even in Germany. Low fuel cost is the most important factor for those, who drive gas-powered vehicles – both private owners as well as fleet operators. But so far, the possibility that the government may lift the reduced tax rate after 2018 did not provide enough safety for long-term investments. It was particularly unfavorable for entrepreneurs who wanted to invest in buses and trucks powered by gas, the payback period for which is very long.
Such action is a clear signal to all parties related to natural gas industry to further engage in all the processes that lead to the use of this fuel for transport purposes. This includes energy suppliers, companies that invest in gas stations as well as car manufacturers.
“The grand coalition underscores the importance of the alternative fuel for the energy turnaround in traffic. Businesses, communities and market partners now have the assurance that the economic advantage of natural gas mobility permanently endures.”
Timm Kehler, CEO of ERDGAS mobil GmbH
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