Natural gas sales on the rise through August

Steve Tam speaking at ACT Research event

American and Canadian Class 8 natural gas (NG) retail sales for the first eight months of 2022 have outpaced last year's sales by 18 percent year to date (YTD) through August, ACT Research reports in its Alternative Fuels Quarterly.

ACT Research Vice President Steve Tam says sales of NG-powered vehicles, as reported by the six major truck OEMs, who account for approximately 60 percent of the heavy-duty NG market, were mixed in the June to August time period.

“In the near term, June was relatively benign compared to May (-4 percent), while July spiked 82 percent month over month. Unable to maintain, volumes pulled back 33 percent from July to August. Combined, sales in the three-month period extended and increased the YTD gain, with the first eight months of the year outpacing the same period in 2021 by 18 percent,” Tam says.

Unfortunately, natural gas fueling infrastructure hasn't had a similar YTD gain.

Tam says there were 822 public compressed natural gas (CNG) stations open in the U.S. in mid-September 2022, the vast majority of which can accommodate a heavy-duty vehicle. The liquid natural gas (LNG) station count at the same period was 54, with all able to serve Class 8 vehicles. He says this translates to 15 fewer public CNG station and no change to the number of public LNG station since mid-June 2022.

“Given the existing station count’s downward trajectory, it isn’t a surprise that planned CNG stations are also contracting. On a year-over-year basis, the number of planned private CNG stations was unchanged while planned public stations have declined more than 38 percent," Tam says. “It is worth noting that private U.S. stations also exist and are being planned. These currently include 4,572 existing stations and six planned sites, a decrease of 31 existing stations from last quarter, but we presume these are temporarily offline, rather than shuttered.”

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