Challenges of Natural Gas Vehicles
The strict regulations and the ambitious climate protection targets of the European Commission are key drivers for the development of alternative powertrain concepts.
Meeting these requirements, natural gas vehicles seem to be the perfect solution. The use of natural gas vehicles helps to reduce CO2 emissions and accelerates a cleaner technology.
To establish this technology, OEM`s and suppliers of CNG and LNG systems are facing challenges such as improvements on engine components, on storage systems and on material developments. Furthermore, OEM’s are also facing serious sales problems. Let’s take the VW Passat TSI Ecofuel as an example. The Passat has 21 kg of CNG (compressed natural gas) on board. By driving economically, CNG lasts for 450 km. After having consumed the CNG, the car’s system automatically uses the fuel from the gas tank. The gas tank contains up to 31 liter of gas. In total, the driver can travel up to 900km which is quite a long ride. Even though there are no concerns that the car can handle a trip of about 900km, no one is bying. Until July 2011, there were only 4343 new CNG vehicles on the streets. Out of 42 million vehicles, there are only 100.000 natural gas vehicles in Germany! Experts see the main reason for the sales problem in missing natural gas stations.
What is your opinion? Which are the main challenges that OEM’s and suppliers are currently facing?Source http://www.spiegel.de/auto/aktuell/0,1518,788833,00.html