Natural Gas in Transport

Over the past several years, concern over the environment and the rising cost of petroleum-based transport fuels have left both automakers and policymakers looking to diversify the transportation fuel mix away from petroleum. This is due to the fact that the transportation industry is responsible for a large portion of total carbon dioxide emissions, and the diversification of fuel sources has become an attractive option for reaching climate change emissions goals.

While many of the so-called “alternative” energy sources offer advantages over petroleum-based fuels, few are as safe, practical or as ready to implement as natural gas. The widespread implementation of any new fuel presents challenges, but experts, pointing to the significant benefits from NGVs, predict unprecedented growth in the NGV sector over the next 20 years.

The Benefits of Using NGVs

Natural gas has already been used around the world for decades as a safe and reliable fuel for heating and cooking. Natural gas, which consists primarily of methane and other gases, is found most commonly in its gaseous form, but can be compressed and liquefied for space-efficient storage and transport.

Natural gas as a motor fuel offers significant advantages over traditional fuels, and indeed over other “alternative” fuels.

  • First, NGVs are clean – they emit 25% less carbon dioxide than petrol vehicles and 95% less nitrogen oxide and produce virtually no particulate emissions. In fact, it is the fossil energy source with the lowest emissions of carbon dioxide, and if bio-methane is used, carbon dioxide emissions are able to be reduced even further.
  • Another advantage is cost-savings: Of all the fossil fuels, natural gas is the cheapest, saving drivers an estimated 30% - 60% compared to diesel and petrol. As a way to comply with environmental regulations, natural gas therefore is an economically attractive alternative.
  • Moreover, natural gas has been proven to be the safest transportation fuel in the world, and no filters or additives are required to use natural gas as a transportation fuel.
  • Natural gas requires less processing and is significantly less flammable than other fuels like petrol. NGVs fuel tanks are manufactured from durable composite materials and are tested to exceed the most stringent safety regulations in the world. In the unlikely event of a spill, natural gas dissipates quickly instead of pooling underneath a vehicle like other fuels.

Automakers and fuel suppliers alike remain committed to the implementation of natural gas-powered vehicles. Gazprom Export estimates that by 2020, there will be more than 50 million NGVs on the market worldwide.

On the following pages, you will find information about the various applications for natural gas as a motor fuel. You will find specific pages dedicated to varying types of NGVs, including natural gas cars, fleets and buses.

On each page, you will also find many engaging photos, videos, event coverage and fun facts about the diversified use of natural gas as a transportation fuel, and the plethora of NGVs types that have been developed and are still being developed for both industry and consumer markets.