MAN reiterates importance of CNG for Middle East
MAN reiterates commitment to CNG ahead of Middle East NGV Summit 2014
MAN has reiterated its commitment to compressed natural gas (CNG) – and other sustainable transport technologies – on the eve of the Middle East Natural Gas Vehicles (MENGV) Summit 2014.
The German commercial vehicle manufacturer reaffirmed its position following the successful trial of a CNG-powered bus in the UAE earlier in the year.
The news also comes in the wake of the MAN Lion’s City GL CNG receiving the accolade ‘Bus of the Year 2015’ for Europe.
“As the leading manufacturer of eco-friendly natural gas-powered vehicles, MAN is committed to providing its customers with highly reliable and technologically superior transportation solutions that contribute to the reduction of the global carbon footprint,” commented Pedro Teixeira, head of bus sales at MAN Middle East.
“We look forward to engaging with policy makers and industry stakeholders to chart an energy roadmap that will lead the region towards a more sustainable future,” he added.
The firm’s Lion’s City GL CNG bus, which was named ‘Bus of the Year 2015’ by a panel of judges last month, is a 18.75m-long natural gas-powered articulated bus that the manufacturer believes will help to further cement CNG as a viable alternative fuel source for public transportation.
MAN Truck & Bus had earlier been commissioned by Abu Dhabi’s Department of Transport to conduct trials of the vehicle in the UAE. For eight months, the CNG model ran alongside regular diesel-powered buses so that a direct comparison could be made. The results showed that the MAN bus emitted higher-quality exhaust gas compared to its diesel counterparts, and produced fewer nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxides, and particles.
“Given the focus on the environment, [Middle Eastern] countries are looking at measures to reduce emissions while evaluating alternative fuel-development scenarios,” commented Teixeira.
“Within this region, the UAE leads the way when it comes to NGV deployment. As well as converting a growing percentage of its public transport fleet into NGVs, the country is rapidly building the infrastructure necessary to support future needs.
“Strong policy support plays a crucial role in encouraging the use of natural gas as a fuel, and the UAE is a prime example of how having a big-picture vision can help align national goals with environmental targets,” he said.
MAN is now drawing upon this experience to bring CNG to the field of truck haulage. The firm’s Latin America branch recently conducted a successful trial of a 100% CNG-powered VW truck in Brazil. The vehicle offers a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions compared to conventional models, in addition to significantly reduced cabin-noise levels.
The manufacturer contends that natural gas presents an effective and viable alternative to gasoline and diesel, offering advantages related to environmental sustainability, cost efficiency, and safety.
“Although the NGV industry in the region is still at a nascent stage, the environmental benefits and cost savings offered by technologies such as CNG are persuading public transport agencies to look at NGVs as a sustainable and commercially viable method of reducing carbon emissions,” commented Teixeira.
“As this trend gathers momentum, we believe NGVs will gradually make the transition from being a niche market to the preferred choice for fleet owners in the region,” he concluded.
The MENGV Summit 2014 will take place from 8 to 10 September at Le Royal Meridien in Abu Dhabi, UAE.