Naturgas, the Colombian Natural Gas Association, reports 9,421 cars were converted from gasoline to natural gas in the first six months of 2018, an increase of 19% over the same period last year. High numbers of conversions were recorded in the cities of Bogotá, Cali, Medellín, Barranquilla and Bucaramanga.
Today, there are about 200,000 vehicles operating on natural gas in Colombia, 600 of which are for the transport of freight or passengers.
Natural gas vehicles (NGV) are gaining in popularity primarily because of price stability as gasoline continues to increase in cost. Compared to gasoline, CNG is 35% cheaper in Ibagué, 41% in Cartagena and Bucaramanga, and improves to 48% in Bogotá and 51% in Villavicencio, a city in central Colombia southeast of Bogotá, the association reports.
For commercial operators travelling 200 kms daily, the price differential over a month is roughly equivalent to half a monthly minimum wage.
In addition to the economic benefits mentioned, the use of NGV contributes to the reduction of environmental pollution. The use of vehicular natural gas reduces emissions of ultrafine particulate matter (PM2.5) by about 100% compared to the use of oxygenated gasoline in internal spark-ignited combustion engines. It also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 30%.
“The natural gas vehicle is the alternative to mobilizing at low cost, contributing to the environment. Its use is possible not only in cars, trucks and jeeps, which can have the system installed in any of the 150 authorized workshops in the country; but also in heavy-load vehicles manufactured to operate exclusively with natural gas by brands that are widely recognized internationally,” said Cabrales Segovia.
The guild highlighted that the natural gas sector has the availability, infrastructure and support necessary to continue providing its new users with an efficient service according to the expectations of all vehicles.