Research indicates that by 2018, natural gas trucks and buses will account for 3.4% and 12.7%, respectively, of the entire fleet in the European Union.
Natural gas vehicles, especially heavy duty trucks and buses, are gaining momentum in the marketplace. Extraction of natural gas and tightening emissions regulations are making these vehicles both more attractive and easier to adopt.
Compressed natural gas [CNG] and biomethane will be the first to expand, some 90% of buses expect to be powered by spark-ignited CNG engines. Additionally, CNG infrastructure is already 99% in place, so upgrading fueling stations will be relatively cheap.
Compression-ignition liquified natural gas [LNG] vehicles, on the other hand, will find their way into the market at a much slower pace. By 2018, about 75% of LNG trucks will be compression-ignition types.
Compression-ignition LNG trucks will be slower to adopt, at first, because LNG facilities are more expensive to install. High-compression LNG engines are also more expensive up front, but if natural gas is cheap enough, transportation companies will be able to cut refueling costs significantly.