It has long been known that CO2 emissions must be significantly reduced in the coming years. A study commissioned by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs has determined how this can be achieved in the transportation sector. The Institut für Kraftfahrzeuge (IKA) at the Rhine-Westphalia Institute of Technology (RWTH) in Aachen allots an important role to electric automobiles as well as to natural gas propulsion.
According to the study, natural gas has great future potential: NGVs will constitute 9% of all vehicles by 2030, depending on vehicle class and the development of oil prices. Besides, experts see NGVs gaining a consistently higher market share than electric automobiles. The study on “CO2 emissions reduction in passenger automobiles and light commercial vehicles after 2020″ examine which CO2 limits are realistic in the future. The result: hybrids allow for great gains in CO2 reductions, but entail high manufacturing costs that are not offset by fuel savings and are thus less economical in the long term.
In this regard, the media sees a future in the combination of natural gas and hybrid vehicles. Zeit Online recently published a piece quoting Christian-Simon Ernst, the director of the IKA study. Ernst claims that NGVs are on the rise, especially in the U.S. The implication: automobile manufacturers will increase investment in high-performance natural gas vehicles for the U.S. market. Accordingly, European manufacturers will offer attractive quantities of natural gas vehicles that will ideally be developed not only for the American market.
“For Europe and Germany, however, natural gas will tend be successful in smaller and mid-size automobiles, because the economic benefits are more quickly attainable,” said the director of the study, as quoted in Zeit Online. According to Ernst, in comparison to gasoline and diesel, natural gas could become even less expensive: “We must not forget the political and strategic dimension of natural gas. It can be mined in the North Sea as well as produced in biomethane or power-to-gas plants.”
Source: Erdgas Mobil