Khodrocar – Iran started the trial bi-fuel vehicle project on 1977 and 10 years later, they started this project officially. According to Natural Gas Vehicle Knowledge Base (IANGV), by August 2017, there were more than 24 million Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) operating worldwide. Iran is one of the countries, which has the most NGVs.
However, due to the annual vehicle production in Iran, how many NGVs exist in Iran? Is this a viable investment? Another question is whether, given the high depreciation of gas-fueled cars, is their production and this huge investment logical or not.
Ardeshir Dadras, Head of the CNG Association of Iran told Khodrocar regarding the issue: "Between 94 to 95 percent of taxies and also 70 percent of transportation vehicles in the country are bi-fuels. There are more than 4 million and 300 thousand NGVs in the country but the gas stations are using 60 to 70 percent of their capacities. By increasing the amount of gas production, we can use all of these capacities.”
Are NGVs priority?
Hasan Karimi Sanjari, an automotive industry expert tells Khodrocar about the necessity of NGVs: "Until five years ago, NGVs had some advantages over gasoline but since then the automotive industry moved from gasoline engines to hybrid and electric engines.”
He continues: Iran has a very good capacity to produce gas but NGVs have high engine depreciation and overhauls and these are not cheap for customers.”
Sanjari believes that the production of NGVs must be limited and the automotive industry should shift into produce hybrid and electric vehicles.
EVs Instead of NGVs
Nader Vahabaghaei, an automotive industry expert tells about the priority of EVs and states: "The life of NGVs is coming to the end and all of major companies like Volkswagen is shifting into hybrids and EVs. The china is also going to make 3 percent of its vehicles EV until 2020. Bi-fuels are short term plans and soon our automotive industry should move toward producing EVs and hybrids.”
Khodrocar - It seems that there is currently no effective action to develop the infrastructure for electric vehicles and the government and authorities just think about producing more NGVs.
Khodrocar Reporter and Translator: Maziyar Jafarieh