‘A Healthy Overall NGV Marketplace Given the Headwinds of Low Oil Prices’
As New Legislation Spurs Optimism for 2015, Especially for Heavy Duty NGVs
U.S. natural gas vehicles production as a whole was down 6.5% last year, but the fall-off was limited to light duty vehicles – medium and heavy duty NGVs saw significant growth, NGVAmerica reports. Separately, the association applauded the introduction of legislation that would make liquefied natural gas-fueled vehicles even more competitive.
NGVAmerica’s 2014 NGV Production/Sales Report is based on the organization’s annual survey of OEMs and approved aftermarket suppliers. Among the major findings:
- in 2014, NGV production/sales totaled just over 18,000 vehicles;
- the heavy-duty market segment grew at a healthy pace, up 30% over 2013;
- the medium-duty market segment also grew steadily, up 24% over 2013; and
- the light-duty segment fell 34% from 2013, mostly related to a drop in orders from the gas and oil exploration and production (E&P) sector.
“Overall sales for the year fell slightly as a result of the dramatic drop in the price of oil that occurred in the second half of the year and the impact this had largely on sales of light-duty NGVs to oil and gas exploration companies,” states an NGVAmerica summary. “Significant growth occurred in both the medium- and heavy-duty market segments as a result of the still favorable economics these higher-fuel use applications generate…
“As the price of oil rebounds, NGVs’ economic value proposition will improve further, and when combined with the other advantages of natural gas – stable fuel prices, reliable technology and reduced emissions – sales growth will once again accelerate.”
“Production and sales are expected to hold steady or improve in 2015.”
‘Getting Close to Resolving the Federal Roadblocks’
NGVAmerica president Matthew Godlewski pointed to “significant growth in key market segments and a healthy overall NGV marketplace given the headwinds of low oil prices we faced last year… Clean-burning natural gas has a strong future as an advanced transportation fuel.”
Separately, NGVAmerica praised two Republican and two Democratic lawmakers for introducing the Alternative Fuel Tax Parity Act “to create a level playing field for clean-burning natural gas to compete with diesel as a transportation fuel.”
The bill would shift calculation of the federal excise tax on liquefied natural gas from the current gallon basis to energy content – “a commonsense measure that would remove an artificial barrier from the market.”
Introduction of the legislation, Godlewski said, “is a solid signal that we’re getting close to resolving the federal roadblocks that are standing in the way of further accelerating natural gas use in the trucking sector.”
If enacted, the law would lower the effective excise tax rate for LNG from 24.3 cents per gallon to 14.1 cents per gallon.
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Source: NGVAmerica with Fleets & Fuels follow-up