Swedish trade associations Energigas Sweden and BIL Sweden have issued a press release addressing media reports that infer a disproportionately high number of accidents for vehicles powered by natural gas, supposedly due to lower safety thresholds. “That’s not right,” they say, emphasizing security issues are always top priority for the natural gas vehicle (NGV) sector.
Today, more than 55,000 natural gas cars are rolling on Swedish roads, part of a global fleet of more than 24 million NGVs. Not a single person has died in connection with a gas car accident during the 30 years gas vehicles have been in Sweden. Since automotive gas-driven cars were introduced in Sweden in the mid-1980s, the first major accident happened with such a car in Linköping on May 4, 2015. Thereafter, another six similar events have occurred with automotive gas-powered cars. The fact that accidents involving vehicle gas-driven cars at least every month, as highlighted in the media, are not true.
“The automotive industry is continuously working on product improvements in all security areas. It is extremely about trust. Therefore, we prioritize close cooperation with the authorities,” says Bertil Moldén, CEO of BIL Sweden.
“Gas vehicles are used all over the world. The technology complies with international requirements and is well proven and reliable. We are constantly working to improve regulations and procedures to further improve the safety of gas vehicles,” said Maria Malmkvist, CEO of Energigas Sweden.
Energigas Sweden and BIL Sweden have initiated and participated in several contexts to strengthen the safety of gas vehicles. It is both about preventive work to reduce risks, but also about supportive efforts to deal with accidents. Here are some of our collaborations and results:
- Strong requirements for gas vehicles in conjunction with inspections, as well as improved conditions for emergency services to deal with accidents. Implemented in cooperation with, among other things, the Swedish Civil Protection and Preparedness Agency (MSB) and the Transport Agency. The results of this collaboration are:
- The Transport Agency’s new regulations on regular inspection of gas vehicle fuel systems, which will begin in May 2018.
- MSB’s revised guidelines on rescue efforts with gas-powered passenger cars, which are about to be completed.
- Co-operation with the automotive industry, factories and bus operators as well as training organizations to enhance the safety of operators who use or work with gas vehicles. We have developed a common requirement specification for approved training for workshop staff who work with gas vehicles. Training of workshop staff is carried out throughout the country and takes place continuously.
- Follow and influence the design of international regulations that exist for, inter alia, gasoline systems to meet our high standards.
- Together we have also driven the implementation of special service programs and assisted in the recall of malfunctioning vehicles.
Sweden’s Gas-powered vehicle regulations
All Swedish registered gas trucks are designed according to the ECE R110 international regulations for factory-built gas vehicles or ECE R115 for those after-conversion gas trucks.
The prescribed control of gas vehicles is carried out by inspection companies accredited by government-appointed Swedac in accordance with the rules decided by the Transport Agency.
Each new gas car must undergo individual approval or type-inspected through the Whole Vehicle Type Approval, WVTA. This ensures that the gas car is safe when it is put into service.
Read more in BIL Sweden and Energigas Sweden’s PM “Safety work with automotive gas-powered cars” (PDF, Swedish).
Sources: Energigas Sweden and BIL Sweden (via Mynewsdesk)