The Czech Republic amply demonstrates the rightful place for Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) as an alternative fuel component of its national fleet: advantageous prices, the increasing number of filling stations, and the wider offer of new models of passenger cars and buses all stand behind the record consumption of compressed natural gas (CNG) in 2018 and continued investment in 2019.
In 2018, sales of this alternative fuel increased by 12.2% to a total of 75.8 million cubic meters. Currently, almost 23,000 CNG vehicles run on Czech roads, a year-on-year increase of 20%.
“Last year, the number of CNG public stations grew by 16 to 185. More will be added this year. There are also more than 50 non-public company filling stations. The density of the filling station network today is such that it allows a smooth CNG ride”, said Lenka Kovačovská, executive director of the Czech Gas Association (CPS), adding: “The largest share of CNG consumption is by public transport buses which now operate in more than 60 Czech cities. Especially in times of recurrent inversions and dangerous smog situations, the importance of using CNG in transport is growing.”
CNG wagons are characterized by extremely low NOx emissions, solid particulate matter (PM) and carcinogenic hydrocarbons (PAHs), the components with the worst impact on human health produced by conventional cars. The added value of CNG cars compared to diesel or gasoline cars is also a quieter operation as well as significantly lower fuel costs while maintaining the purchase price.
“The CNG price including the tax is around CZK 25 (USD 1.09) per kilogram. This corresponds to less than CZK 18 per cubic meter, equivalent to one liter of gasoline. Thus, the cost of traveling one mile is roughly USD 0.045. The purchase price of CNG cars is comparable to conventional vehicles, and in some cases leasing companies offer better business conditions for environmentally friendly cars”, reminded L. Kovačovská.
For CNG cars, considerable attention is paid to safety, which is therefore actually higher compared to gasoline, diesel or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) cars. This is evidenced by the fact that while gasoline and LPG belong to the 1st class of hazards and diesel to Class 3, CNG belongs to Class 4. (See note below.)
The Czech Gas Association (ČPS) is an independent association of companies and experts operating in the gas industry and related fields.
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Note: Classification of fuels according to theUnited Nations Globally Harmonised System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS)