Following a successful September workshop that sought guidance toward toward the integration of compressed natural gas (CNG) in the energy sector, especially as it applies to public transportation, Israel’s Ministry of Transport has implemented a grant of 150 thousand shekels (USD 38,700) for each natural gas powered bus purchased by public transportation companies. The invitation to take up the grant is aimed at reducing air pollution in urban centers.
Minister Katz explains: “The use of vehicles powered by electricity or gas may result in substantial energy savings and significantly reduce air pollution. The Ministry of Transport spares no efforts to examine the use of alternative fuel vehicles and implement solutions currently prevailing in the world.”
A total fund of ILS 15 million (USD 3.86 million) has been established to encourage the purchase of 100 buses to replace existing public transportation vehicles powered by diesel fuel.
Public transport companies participating in the project will be required to replace their existing fleet of city buses with natural gas-powered buses and operate them long-term. Selected operators will be required to operate the buses within 18 months of grant approval.
The Transport Minister noted that natural gas reserves discovered in recent years constitute a substantial, secure domestic fuel source and the expansion of natural gas as a fuel for transportation is part of the government’s ambitious plan to reduce the consumption of oil products in the transport sector by 30%.
In June this year, bus operator Egged Cooperative, fuel supplier Supergas and MAN Truck and Bus Israel jointly introduced the first compressed natural gas (CNG) bus, planning to work together with MAN over a three-month trial period in the region of Haifa.
At the time, Mr. Nir Landau, the Head of Egged Logistic Maintenance & Purchasing Division said: “The usage of compressed natural gas is considered ‘green’ and reduces the emissions from the engine. In addition, it significantly reduces operating cost and can achieve significant cost savings. The amount of energy produced by an engine from one liter of diesel is equivalent to one kilo of gas in one hour. However, the cost of natural gas is cheaper by 30 percent.”
The MAN 12 meter buses have a 12.8 liter engine capacity of 270 kW power, torque of 1050 Newton meters at 100 up to 1700 rpm and speed up to 80 mph.
News about the implementation workshop is available here.
(Source: Israel Ministry of Transport; Egged)