North American sales of natural gas vehicles seen lagging through 2019

The global market for light-duty natural gas vehicles (NGVs), which produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions than conventional gasoline engines and which run on fuel that is cheaper than gasoline, varies significantly depending on the region and country.

While many markets in Europe and Latin America continue to struggle with expanding refueling infrastructure quickly enough to meet the needs of both consumers and fleets, the adoption of NGVs is still growing rapidly.

According to a recent report from Pike Research, titled Light Duty Natural Gas Vehicles, the Asia-Pacific region is rapidly becoming the world's largest market for NGVs due to strong growth in markets such as Thailand, India and China.

North America, however, continues to lag in this sector. Although sales of NGVs in the region will grow at a healthy 10.2% compound annual growth rate from 2012–2019, the study found, annual sales will still reach only 37,000 by 2019—just over 1% of the world market, which is expected to reach 3.2 million in annual sales in that year, the study concluded.

"Sales of NGVs will grow strongly in the next several years in North America, but the market is starting from a very small base of about 16,000 vehicles a year," said senior research analyst Dave Hurst.

"The lack of widely available refueling stations, the absence of government incentives for purchasers, and low consumer awareness of NGVs will keep the North American market to just a fraction of the total world market," Mr. Hurst noted.

As in Europe and parts of Asia-Pacific, the growing infrastructure for NGVs in North America remains focused on servicing fleet customers. This will likely limit the growth of NGV passenger cars both in North America and in other markets, according to the report.

Light Duty Natural Gas Vehicles analyzes global market opportunity for NGVs in the passenger-car and light-duty truck markets. An executive summary of the report is available for free download on the Pike Research website.

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