According to a report from the Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership, the UK lags in the use of natural gas-powered vehicles.
While other countries have been speeding up their efforts and making huge strides in developing and commercializing this technology, relatively little development has occurred within the UK.
Despite the initiatives such as government grants being made available to encourage the development of natural gas vehicles.
Suppliers like Crown gas and power shifted swiftly to natural gas solutions yet more suppliers need to make a shift to achieve sustainability in the country.
The report goes on to say that…
“Lessons can be learned from these countries if the UK is to move forward in its efforts to develop a competitive natural gas vehicle market.”
The report highlights several difficulties that the UK has encountered in its attempts to incorporate this into its transport systems: a lack of national infrastructure, restrictions on the conversion of petrol cars from LPG conversions, and general public misconceptions about the safety of this fuel source.
Fortunately, changes are being made. The government is attempting to address transportation issues via its green growth strategy, which will see the development of “a number of low emissions vehicle technologies.”
While these measures don’t specifically mention natural gas vehicles, they do suggest that incentives will be put in place for companies looking to develop natural gas vehicles.
The North-West has been placed at the forefront of this development, with Manchester set to become home to two new forecourts for LNG-powered heavy goods vehicles by the end of the year.
These forecourts are reportedly expected to serve more than 1,000 commercial vehicles per week, with positive knock-on effects for the retail sector as demand grows.
We shouldn’t be too disheartened; Britain’s population is concentrated in certain areas like many countries, hindered by geography. It means that the benefits of switching to natural gas vehicles will be felt most in those parts of the country where demand is highest.
There are also plans to upgrade existing petrol stations to cater to LNG-powered cars, creating additional opportunities for this sector to grow.
However, this will be no overnight change. A shift on the scale needed to start making a real impact on carbon emissions will require considerable investment and time.
The report does insist that there are many benefits to using natural gas-powered cars, dismissing some of the concerns surrounding this fuel source as “common misconceptions.”
The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership claims that there is no significant difference between natural gas and petrol in terms of their impact on global warming, with methane emissions produced during the refinement process being offset by the lower carbon footprint of this fuel source throughout its lifecycle.