Why Should Trucks Consider Switching to Liquefied Natural Gas?

The Indian truck market size was reported at $20,042 million in 2022, which is projected to reach $36,353 million by  2028, with a CAGR of 9% during 2023-28. 

  •  IMARC Report on the Indian Truck Market. 

India, the world’s rapidly growing economy, relies heavily upon its transportation goods to keep goods flowing across the country. Among the numerous modes of transportation, heavy-duty trucks play a vital role in ensuring the smooth transition of goods. However, the threats posed by conventional fuels like CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) are not hidden. The rising economic and public health concerns have encouraged trucks to consider switching to an alternative fuel option that causes less pollution and carbon footprint and is more environmentally friendly. 

The logistics industry significantly contributes to India’s GDP. From facilitating the movement of long-distance goods to job opportunities and fostering development, the sector is fostering India’s economic landscape tremendously. To upkeep the economy, the logistics industry must shift from conventional sources to much more affordable and cleaner sources like LNG. The rise in LNG-based heavy-duty trucks aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

Taking long-haul trucks into account, CNG has a limitation for these trucks, and that’s where LPG (Liquefied Natural Gas) turns out to be an invaluable option. The current geopolitical war between Hamas and Israel has jeopardised the Indian economy significantly, which has led to a rise in CNG prices. Whether it is the Hamas-Israel war or the rising prices of CNG, the inclination towards LNG has been seen lately. The government of India expects 8-10 lakh trucks running on LNG by 2035, as per the Times of India report. The biggest truck manufacturers like Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra, Ashok Layland, and BharatBenz, expressed their willingness to roll out LNG versions of trucks for fleet operations. 

LNG – A Catalyst in the Transportation Industry 

The global race to decarbonise transportation is always a moot point, but heavy-duty trucks represent a huge challenge. In this scenario, a viable solution – LNG attracts the attention of the logistics and transportation industry to a great extent. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) has 30% lower CO2 emissions, 90% lower NOX and PM emissions, and 100% lower SOX emissions. LNG vehicles have a driving range of 600-1000 kms in a single fill, providing an edge over their well-known equivalent, compressed natural gas (CNG). Therefore, LNG vehicles have been seen as an impressive push in China, the US, Europe, and India, which also seem to be jumping onto the bandwagon. 

The cost is the major factor that makes a big difference between CNG and LNG demand. Since the LNG price per unit is lower than diesel, this makes it an appropriate option to go with in the future. Additionally, LNG is a quieter and cleaner gas with an emission factor 25% lower than diesel. However, the transition to clearer and more sustainable fuels for heavy trucks requires a supportive policy framework from the government and other stakeholders. The government must formulate and work on policies that encourage the adoption of alternative fuels and support the development of the logistics and transportation industry. 

LNG – The Future of Long-Haul Trucking

Indeed, the future of heavy trucks in India dwells in the adoption of cleaner and more sustainable fuels, which create less pollution, are more cost-effective, and address climate change altogether. However, this effort requires equal contributions from the government, private entities, and stakeholders to achieve this goal. As LNG is becoming a growing sustainable alternative, its shares in the market are liable to grow. The LNG as a fuel market is projected to register a CAGR of 8% during the predicted period 2020-2025. The rise in LNG trucks in India marks a significant turning point in the realm of sustainable development in the transportation and logistics industry. Soon, we will see that LNG is set to revolutionise the transportation industry in India. As we move towards a greener future, we must embrace game-changing and innovative solutions for a sustainable, eco-friendly transportation system. 

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