Number of models doubled, 38 percent more sales
By the end of 2014, the number of Compressed Natural gas (CNG) models available in Germany is expected to double compared to the number of models available early 2012, according to an “Erdgasmobilität” report released by the Initiative for Natural Gas-based Mobility. This second Interim Report recommends extension of the energy tax credit for natural gas and comparable prices at gas stations.
In particular, high-volume models such as the VW Golf, the Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class are on the rise. Sales of natural gas vehicles in 2013 rose to 8,900 units in the previous year, an increase of 38 percent. Natural gas is thus the most popular alternative fuel in Germany.
This emerges from the interim report passed by the Initiative to Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister of Transport Katherina Reiche, on May 26 in Berlin. The initiative now operates under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) and is coordinated by the Deutsche Energie-Agentur GmbH (dena) – the German Energy Agency. Involved are leading vehicle manufacturers, energy companies and the ADAC (Allgemeiner Deutscher Automobil-Club e.V.).
The results of the interim report confirm that the measures implemented in 2011 when the Initiative was launched are demonstrating effect in the market. The supportive policy environment for natural gas mobility will be further developed: the request for an extension of the energy tax credit for natural gas and biomethane as a fuel has been enshrined in the coalition agreement. A new EU Directive stipulates comparable prices for gasoline and natural gas at gas stations based on the results of the Initiative.
“We welcome the policy signals. These now need to be implemented quickly,” said Stephan Kohler, chairman of dena-management, at the presentation of the interim report. “The price advantage of natural gas and biomethane can be detected by motorists only with a transparent award of fuel prices at gas stations.”
Parliamentary State Secretary Katherina Reiche praised the commitment of the Initiative: “Natural Gas Mobility has a future. In the context of mobility and fuel strategy of the federal government natural gas has been identified as an important option for future energy supply of traffic in the car and truck sector and in shipping. Natural gas can contribute as fuel to improve the carbon footprint of transport.”
Biomethane content increased significantly
According to the interim report, the proportion of biomethane in nature gas supply for transportation in now significantly more than when first reported, being at 20%. Thus, with the use of natural gas as a fuel, up to 39 percent less CO2 is emitted than for a comparable gasoline vehicle. In addition, competing uses for food or feed production are avoided because the biomethane used in the transport sector is produced by more than 80 percent of residual and waste materials.