There are 16.7 million natural gas vehicles (NGVs) worldwide, most of which run on compressed natural gas (CNG). The global fleet of natural gas vehicles has increased more than tenfold since 2000.
Many of these natural gas vehicles are in south-africa, and indicators suggest that south-africa will match these growth levels in the coming years.
Our abundance of natural gas (south-africa is a key player in liquefied natural gas, LNG) and our increasing dependence on imported crude oil make natural gas an important option for fleet operators concerned about cost, environment and security of fuel supply.
Many of the world's major automobile manufacturers produce CNG vehicles, from passenger cars to vans, buses and heavy trucks. The availability of CNG vehicles is currently limited to light and heavy-duty vehicles, including buses. Most CNG vehicles belong to fleets that have their own private refueling stations. There are a number of public access CNG refueling stations throughout the country.
The lower fuel price of CNG relative to diesel or gasoline can result in overall savings for fleet operators. This depends on the distance traveled by vehicles each year and the price difference between CNG and diesel or gasoline. Cabs, for example, can have payback periods of just over 6 months, medium trucks 2 years, and passenger vehicles between 2 and 4 years.
They can have payback periods of just over 6 months, medium trucks 2 years and passenger vehicles 2 to 4 years.