05 October 2017

NGV Gas making gas-powered transport a reality

Submitted by CubicICE (PTY) Ltd

NGV Gas, the natural gas provider of commercial fleets and a division of CNG Holdings, is enabling the growth of gas-powered transport in South Africa through a rapidly expanding compressed natural gas distribution network of standalone and in-house fuelling stations in Gauteng and KZN. Natural gas – widely used in motor vehicles across most of the rest of the world – is significantly more cost-effective, safer and cleaner than other conventional fossil fuels. Its introduction in South Africa’s transport industry is helping vehicle and fleets owners to improve the running costs and performance of their fleets.

Already, over 950 taxis, 100 municipal buses, police cars, fleets of delivery vehicles as well as forklifts around Gauteng have been converted to run on compressed natural gas by NGV Gas. These vehicles are seeing between 20 to 40% reductions in fuel costs (see figure 1).

NGV Gas’ fuelling stations are strategically located in Langlaagte, Soweto, Pretoria and Vanderbijlpark, with future stations targeting Mamelodi, Soweto, Johannesburg CBD, Midrand and Thembisa. It has also retrofitted existing commercial fuelling stations with natural gas dispensers.

As well as these dedicated and retrofitted fuelling stations, the company installs turnkey in-house filling stations for centralised fleets, regardless of whether these can be geographically serviced by the existing gas pipeline or not. In the latter case, a continuous road-based transport system of gas trailer modules each storing compressed natural gas ensures a constant supply at customer sites.

Vehicle conversions kits, consisting of the cylinder, injectors, filling nozzle, inlet manifold, regulator and ECU, are installed by SAGA-qualified and SAQCC-certificated NGV Gas unit. Drivers pay only R8.99 L/eq for their gas usage, with further discounts offered on larger fleet consumers.

In addition to the far cheaper per-unit cost of natural gas, it is one of the safest transport fuels available. Significantly lighter than air, natural gas does not pool in the case of a vehicle accident like its petrol, diesel and LPG counterparts, and has a high auto combustion temperature of approximately 600° C.

It’s much cleaner than petrol and diesel, with up to 27% less CO 2 , NO X , HC and PM emitted compared to other fossil fuels. This isn’t just of environmental importance; the cleaner fuel significantly lowers vehicle maintenance and running costs, with less contamination and residue build up across engine components.

NGV Gas, in partnership with the Industrial Development Corporation, will continue to develop the accessibility of natural gas for motorists and fleet operators as the drive for more cost-effective, safer and more environmentally sustainable energy use becomes more and more critical.

Type of vehicleTaxiNP 200NP 200HiluxHiluxHilux
Km travelled 35 426 44 189 27 529 41 482 54 906 28 446
4 888.79 3 579.31 2 229.85 5 060.8 6 698.53 3 470.41
R/100 km (approx.) R170.75 R100.22 R100.22 R150.95 R150.95 R150.95
Total cost R60 490.60 R44 287.98 R27 590.66 R62 619.01 R82 883.17 R42 940.56
Mixed (bi-fuel)
4 053.43 3 703.78 2 134.81 4 297.24 5 975.61 3 265.21
R/100 km (approx.) R106.44 R78.94 R68.96 R91.79 R97.83 R114.25
Total cost R37 707.60 R34 883.58 R18 982.79 R38 075.86 R53 714.14 R32 500.70
Savings R22 783 R9 404.40 R8 607.87 R24 543.15 R29 169.03 R10 439.86
  37.66% 21.23% 31.2% 39.19% 35.19% 24.31%

Caption: Performance and cost comparisons of natural gas against petrol and diesel engines as demonstrated by six different vehicles from the period 1 January – 31 December 2016.

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