A Parametric Study of Light-Duty Natural Gas Vehicle Competitiveness in the United States Through 2050

Fuels and Petrochemicals Division
AIChE Annual Meeting
November 8, 2013 - 10:00am-10:15am

We modeled and conducted a parametric analysis of the US light-duty vehicle park to examine the impact of natural gas vehicles as they compete with electric vehicles , hybrids , and conventional internal combustion engines. We find that low natural gas prices and sufficient public refueling infrastructure are the key drivers to natural gas vehicle adoption when matched with compressed natural gas powertrains from automakers. Due to the time and investment required for the build out of infrastructure and the introduction of vehicles by original equipment manufacturers , home natural gas compressor sales and bi-fuel natural gas vehicles serve as bridge technologies through 2030. By 2050 , however , natural gas vehicles could comprise as much as 20% of annual vehicle sales and 10% of the LDV park fraction. We also find that natural gas vehicles may displace electric vehicles , rather than conventional internal combustion engines , as they both compete for consumers that drive enough miles such that fuel cost  savings offset higher purchase costs. Due to this dynamic , natural gas vehicles in the LDV park offer little to no greenhouse gas emissions reduction as they displace lower emission powertrains.

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