Many countries are far ahead of us in the field of compressed natural gas use. Italy is the European leader due to the activities of the Fiat factory and its network of filling stations. Also German car factories such as VW, Opel and Mercedes offer a wide range of CNG models.
Germany has also a wide network of CNG filling stations marked Erdgas. Big Asian brands are devoted to CNG vehicle production too, for example Honda Civic belongs to the most often awarded CNG vehicles (Green Car of the Year 2012 in USA).
Approximately 15 million CNG vehicles are in operation around the world, of which about 1.5 million in Europe. About 4,000 vehicles with CNG drive operate in the Czech Republic, of which 360 are buses. The number of such vehicles in the Czech Republic increases by one third each year.
Details of CNG operation worldwide
Due to lower operating costs and easy availability CNG vehicles are more widespread in Asia and South America. In Europe, Germany belongs to the leaders next to Italy operating over 900 filling stations for about one hundred thousand CNG vehicles.
This development is also supported by the European Commission, which plans the implementation of further measures leading to the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions of new vehicles by at least one third in the horizon of several years. CNG vehicles definitely comply with these strict ecological regulations. Long-term stabilisation of CNG consumption tax, which makes this source even more economically beneficial, is another supporting element of European policy.
CNG fuel further brings: more effective engine running, higher level of overfilling as well as higher safety. Together with minimal emissions, safety is very important in municipal public transport. CNG buses represent the optimal mobility solution for choked cities and large agglomerations. The purchase price of CNG vehicles is about the same as diesel engine vehicles, but their operation is cheaper by up to forty percent.