Viktor Zubkov: broad lineup of natural gas-powered vehicles essential to developing NGV market
Viktor Zubkov, Chairman of the Gazprom Board of Directors, held a meeting today at the premises of AVTOVAZ in Togliatti, Samara Region, on issues related to developing the domestic NGV market and stimulating supply and demand for natural gas-powered machinery.
Taking part in the event were Anton Inyutsyn, Deputy Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation, Alexander Morozov, Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Markov and Vyacheslav Mikhalenko, Members of the Management Committee and Heads of Departments at Gazprom, representatives of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation, leading domestic and foreign automakers – AVTOVAZ, GAZ Group, KAMAZ, RariTEK Holding, UAZ, Hyundai, Kia, Renault, and Volkswagen – as well as financial organizations.
It was noted at the meeting that Russian manufacturers currently offer more than 220 models of natural gas-powered vehicles. These include mostly passenger vehicles (buses and minibuses), trucks (dump trucks, box trucks, garbage trucks, etc.), and special vehicles (such as tractors, bulldozers, and mobile cranes). At the same time, in order to ensure the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel on a mass scale, it is required to create capacities to manufacture a broad lineup of affordable cars.
It should be added that no more than 20,000 factory-built NGVs were produced in Russia over the past five years (in 2014–2018). This amount is not sufficient to facilitate active development of the domestic NGV market.
The meeting participants reviewed the plans of domestic and foreign companies for the development of NGV manufacturing in Russia, paying particular attention to cost parameters. They also discussed matters concerning the synchronized development of the NGV refueling infrastructure and NGV servicing networks.
“A broad lineup of modern vehicles powered by natural gas is a prerequisite for the development of the Russian NGV market. It is essential that all market players concentrate their efforts in this area in a systematic and integrated manner.
Commercial and private buyers should be assured that cost-effective, eco-friendly and, last but not least, reliable NGVs are also attractive in terms of price and maintenance services,” said Viktor Zubkov.
A Gazprom delegation paid a visit to the production facilities of AVTOVAZ, including the assembly shop where cars are converted to natural gas and the new CNG filling station of the Company in Togliatti.
The production and marketing of natural gas as a vehicle fuel, as well as the expansion of the domestic NGV market, are among the strategic areas of Gazprom.
The Company actively cooperates with Russian producers of natural gas-powered machinery. Cooperation agreements have been signed with, among others, AVTOVAZ, KAMAZ, GAZ Group, UAZ, Kirovsky Zavod, ATS, Sinara-Transport Machines, Concern Tractor Plants, Kurgan Plant of Road Machines, VOLGABUS, and KOMMASH-GRAZ.
As part of the efforts aimed at promoting the use of natural gas as a vehicle fuel, an online NGV catalogue is maintained and regularly updated at www.ecogas-auto.ru (in Russian).