Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) are an established technology globally, offering over 20% reduction in greenhouse gases, no particulates and up to 60% fuel cost savings (NGVA Europe), representing a key milestone in green vehicle technology. However, uptake of natural gas as a light vehicle fuel is heavily restricted by lack of an EU public fuelling infrastructure. Within the scope of the overall project, gasfill Limited (UK) aim to bring to mass market a novel low-cost, high-throughput personal refuelling appliance for NGVs, with a step change in the compressed natural gas fill rate obtained from standard mains gas and electricity supplies. The personal refuelling appliance is based on a patented multi-stage compression architecture, and the innovation supports accelerated payback within 15 months for single and multi-car users in the target domestic and small commercial markets, as well as the first feasible ownership of NGVs in areas without public filling stations. Complementary to rapid growth in the NGV market, the addressable market is projected to be 133,000 units in Europe and globally by 2020.
Steps required to prepare the technology for exploitation on this level include: value engineering; a robust EU supply chain; detailed knowledge of EU target markets and drivers/barriers, country-specific critical failure factors and mains gas infrastructure; initial exploitation strategy for maximum market penetration; EU certification of product/installation procedure; strategy to form critical mass market growth complementary to NGVs.
The proposed Phase 1 feasibility study seeks to address these requirements by delivery of priority matrix and roadmap for EU exploitation; roadmap for EU-wide certification; IP roadmap; system and component specifications including make/buy decisions for mass production; detailed project plan and scope for main project; installation specification; detailed market forecasts and return-on-investment capability as a function of NGV uptake.