The natural gas vehicle fleet in Spain reached 30,000 units. The wide range of models available, the cost of fuel, the range of the vehicles and the refueling times similar to those of conventional fuels, are factors that drive natural gas to consolidate itself as the most chosen clean technology for professional transport of goods and passengers.
Despite the pandemic, the fleet of LNG trucks grew by 27%, while the CNG buses increased by 17% in 2020: one in four buses registered last year uses natural gas as vehicle fuel.
The development of natural gas in the transport of goods is expected to increase even more in 2021 thanks to the recent approval of the rule that allows driving with a class B license, with an antiquity of more than two years, natural gas vehicles destined for the transport of goods with a maximum mass authorized between 3,500 kg and 4,250 kg.
The NGV refueling network also experienced significant growth, increasing its capillarity throughout the Spanish geography. The opening of 39 public access stations last year brings the country to a total of 163 refueling points.
In 2020, the penetration of renewable gases (biomethane and hydrogen) in transport also continued. An important milestone was the launch of the first bus that runs on biomethane, created at pig farm in the city of Zaragoza. The use of this renewable fuel is a widespread practice in Europe, where 25% of natural gas stations already supply it. However, the development of this technology in Spain was hampered by the lack of a system of guarantees of origin.
“It is urgent to start up a system of guarantees of origin in Spain this year, which allows the immediate decarbonization of a fleet of 30,000 vehicles that currently use natural gas, including long-distance heavy transport that, today, it does not have a real commercial offer of other eco-friendly alternatives,” said the Secretary General of Gasnam Eugenia Sillero.
On the other hand, 2020 marks the beginning of the development of hydrogen as a fuel for road transport, with the registration of hydrogen-powered vehicles (12 cars), the construction of the first refueling station in Madrid and the tender for the first station in Barcelona that will supply the municipal buses.