Natural gas powers more than 15 million vehicles around the world. While still a small percentage of the global vehicle population, natural gas vehicle use has been increasing by more than 15% a year over the past decade. There are more than 20,600 refueling stations in use globally, with the majority of these stations dispensing compressed natural gas (CNG), although LNG projects have been announced in several countries for both on-road truck and marine use.
The top ten countries for natural gas vehicle use account for about 89% of all natural gas vehicles in the world. These countries and their ranking are listed in the following table.
Italy has the longest history with natural gas vehicle use. The main focus in Italy has been on passenger vehicles. Natural gas vehicles have a 9% share of all new light vehicles sold in Italy. There are 14 different factory-built light duty models available. Major Italian automaker, Fiat, recently committed to providing a natural gas option for all of its vehicle models sold in Europe.
Canada currently has less than 10,000 natural gas vehicles and fewer 41 refueling stations. Canada ranks 30th in the global ranking of natural gas vehicle use. While it is difficult to directly compare diverse markets and how they develop, Canada has a strong foundation for future market development given its extensive history and leadership with respect to codes, standards, regulations, and technology development.