In it’s latest Series Report on China’s Natural Gas Vehicle Market, produced by the Auto Industry Development Institute (AIDI) and China Automotive Technology and Research Center (CATARC), figures indicate the natural gas vehicle (NGV) market there is thriving and getting stronger.
In December, the highest month for production in 2011, 11,899 NGVs were manufactured, consisting of 7,377 passenger vehicles and 4,522 commercial vehicles.
A list of cars by production volume features Chinese-European partnerships as dominant manufacturers for December. Dongfeng Peugeot Citroen Automobile Co., Ltd headed the list with 1,806 units, followed by FAW – Volkswagen Automobile Co., Ltd. (1,295 units) and Shanghai Volkswagen Automotive Co., Ltd. (824 units), in total representing more than 67% of all cars for the month.
Commercial vehicles included 3,666 buses and 586 tractors (for semi-trailers). Dedicated (mono-fuel) NGVs predominated, suggesting the growth of NGV fuelling infrastructure is matching production. 147 trucks were also produced in December, a mixture of dedicated and bi-fuel models.
By end 2011, Chinese fleet operators and individuals had 333 NGV models to choose from across all transport segments. In January 2012, the automotive expert group added another 174 new models (including bi-fuel) to that list.
A recent article published by Forbes reported: “CNG/LNG vehicles have already been incorporated into bus and taxi fleets in 100 cities across the country. In Chongqing, 85 percent of taxis and 92 percent of buses are using an LNG engine. In Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an, Xinjiang and Hebei, these percentages are above 90 percent. Despite a decline in the commercial truck market in 2011, trucks using natural gas fuel increased by 7.6 percent.”
China’s 13th International NGV and Gas Station Equipment Expo, May 8-10 in Beijing, will add further impetus to the market, with more than 2,200 exhibiting companies registered and around 200,000 visitors expected.