Gas bus of China is mainly used in the surrounding areas of three major gas areas which is developed earlier and of rich storage of the country and developed areas with good gas transport.
By the first 4 months of 2013, LNG gas markets mainly are Beijing, Shanghai, Chongqing, Tianjin, Sichuan Province, Hainan Province, Harbin, Changchun, Xi’an, Urumchi, Guangzhou, Yinchuan, Jinan, Qingdao, Langfang, Puyang, Nanjing, Yangzhou and Taizhou, which are clean energy vehicles cities. All of these can be divided into Sichuan and Chongqing region, Northeast region, the Yangtze river delta region, Beijing and Tianjin region, Central Plain region, Guangzhou and Shenzhen region and Hainan region.
1.The first 4-month sales analysis of LNG by month
The first 4-month sales analysis of LNG bus
January to April of 2013
January to April of 2012
2. LNG buses of 11-12 meters is the major sales range
The first 4-month sales analysis of LNG bus by length
From the chart above, 732 is in the 11-12 meters, taking a third of the total LNG sales in the first 4 months. The second one is 11-10 meters, 456 vehicles taking almost 20% of the total sales and the third is 8-9 meters, 3030 vehicles taking almost 13%. Hence, LNG buses of 11-12 meters are the main body of the sales.
3. Public transport buses are the majority.
The first 4-month sales analysis of LNG buses by vehicle types
From the chart above, in the market, we can see that public transport buses, highway passenger buses, tourism buses and school buses are 83.2%, 8.83%, 4.95% and 2.43% respectively, which can tell us that public transport buses are the majority.
4. Sales of highway passenger buses, tourism buses and school buses increase a lot.
According to the latest data, the first 4-month sales of LNG buses includes 112 public transport buses, 67 tourism buses and 23 school buses with respective year-on-year increase of 79.46%, 67.2%, and 130.4%. Obviously, although sales of the latter three kinds of buses is not that big, but at obvious large growth rate.
Ⅱ. Feature Analysis of Regional Market Distribution
Sales analysis in the national key regional markets of LNG buses in the first 4 months of 2013--- the distribution of sales of LNG buses are not balanced. LNG is mainly located in Sichuan, Jilin, Guangdong and Jiangsu, and the top 15 mainstream regional markets are centralized with a 0.81% increase year on year.
Flow-direction chart of sales of the first 4-month gas LNG bus in 2013
Market share %
Year-on-year market share in 2012 %
From the chart above we can see that:
1. Sichuan is the largest regional market with 311 vehicles in sales of LNG bus, taking 13.7% market share, followed by Xinjiang, Jilin, Chongqing and Jiangsu. Nevertheless, the gap with Sichuan is very large.
2. Shanxi is with the largest growth of LNG market share year on year, with a growth rate of 0.3%.
3. The total number of sales in top 15 regional markets is 1966, taking almost 86.67%. Its year-on-year market share is almost 85.86%, from which we can see that the regional distribution is out of balance and the mainstream regional markets centralize with an increase of almost 0.81%.
4. The analysis mentioned above provides the concrete basis of marketing to LNG gas bus manufacturers and sales enterprises, which definites the scales of LNG bus sales regions and shows the way.
Ⅲ. Sales of the first 4-month gas LNG bus in 2013 by price
Since the price chain is comparatively short leaving less room for price range. Among this range, 300,000--200,000 yuan, 300,000--400,000 yuan, and 400,000--500,000 yuan is the market segment with more sales of gas, which is more obvious when comparing 400,000--500,000 yuan and 200,000--300,000 yuan price range.
Less than 200,000
From the chart above we can see that:
1. LNG gas buses of over 600,000 yuan are less among the sales of 2263 vehicles, which is only 62 taking 2.74%. The products within this price segment is mainly large bus of 12 meters and super large bus of over 12 meters, which are mainly equipped with domestic Yuchai diesel engines and SDEC diesel engines of high power.
2. Products of 400,000--500,000 yuan are of the largest sales, taking 31.3% which is nearly a third of the total sales. Products within this price segment are mainly large bus of LNG bus of 10-11 meters used as public transport bus. On account that public transport buses within this range are comparatively of high cost performance, with high passenger capacity and lower no-load rate, these are better in rate of return. Thus, sales of LNG buses within this range is better and accords with public transport law.
3. LNG buses of less than 200,000 are of lower sales, taking 2.96%. Products within this price segment are mainly light bus of 6 meters. Generally, this kind of bus is little equipped with CNG (LNG is more equipped, because there is only one gas cylinder which is easy to install in small buses). The two main reasons are 6-meter wheelbase is too short and the body is not that long to install the gas cylinders no matter on the top or under the chassis; and buses of 6 meters are usually used in the special public transport route between urban and rural areas, where are far from the downtown and not that convenient to build gas stations. This kind of situation will leave future troubles which are hard to do the maintenance. However, public transport buses of over 7 meters are mostly equipped with gas and mainly used in middle or small cities, or suburban routes of big cities, which are always of over 200,000.
4. The obvious features of price market segment of LNG gas buses are that buses of higher price are a few and those of lower price are a few, which provides concrete quantitative basis to gas bus manufacturing enterprises when making market price strategies.
5. From the comparison, sales of products within 400,000--500,000 yuan is obviously increasing. But sales of 300,000--400,000 yuan reduces, which shows that prices of LNG buses are of a rising trend as a whole.
Ⅳ. Advantages of LNG Bus
1. Low emission, little pollution
At present, PM2.5 has been included compulsive inspection contents. LNG bus can reduce emissions of harmful gas in tail gas efficiently, which makes it the first preferred vehicle to improve air quality, save energy and reduce emission. Compared with traditional fuel vehicles, LNG(Liquid gas) bus can reduce 97% carbon monoxide emission, 72% hydrocarbon emission, nitrogen oxides emission, 24% carbon dioxide emission, 90% sulfur dioxide, 100% benzene, lead and particulate matter, and over 90% PM 2.5 emission than diesel vehicles. Compared with vehicles of gasoline and diesel, gas bus is more clean and environmental friendly, which the former ones cannot catch up. Emissions of LNG bus can pass Euro 5 emission standard once preceded. For citizens who are suffering a lot from air pollution, this is good news. In addition, methane in gas is over 90%, in which moisture and sulfide can be eliminated completely once in the pre-proceeding procedure before liquefaction. It is easy to adjust gas burning. LNG heat of the same unit can be higher, steadier, burn more completely, of no black smokes and standard tail gas emission. Some experts pointed out that emission when LNG burning can accord with Euro 6 higher than Euro 5 once proceeded. Gas is cleaner, with less nitrogen oxides, hydrocarbon and particulate matter. Even if burning with no catalyst, it can be up to National 3 or National 4.
Therefore, promoting LNG buses of clean energy has been consensus of the whole society.
2. Low price
A. The operational cost of LNG gas buses is very low, which is a more obvious advantage for public transport buses running in the long distance and within cities.
B. Manufacturing cost of LNG gas engine is very low, very close to those of gasoline and diesel engines. According to some expert, if bus emission leveled up to National 4, cost of manufacturing diesel engine equals to gas engine. If the emission standard rises to National 5, cost of gas engine is still lower than diesel engine. Expensive hybrid power and electric engines are of disadvantages than gas engines. At the same time, present diesel engines can be easily turned into gas engines.
C. LNG gas bus is of the highest cost performance coping with petrol crisis. At present, prices of gasoline and diesel are still on the rise. It is said that from Jan. to Feb. of 2013 in China prices of gasoline and diesel have been increased 15% and 20%. By the beginning of March, our prices of gasoline and diesel are almost the same as those of the States. In this kind of circumstance, it is a trend to find a replacing energy, in which gas is the most perfect one with its low price and its long using period and large scale. In prices, gas is only the half of gasoline and diesel. There is no denying that fuel will be on the rise, which makes the advantage of gas more obvious.
3. Safe and reliable
Compared with gasoline and diesel, gas bus is safer. Because gas is lightweight of high ignition point, which makes gas more difficult to burn in the normal temperature and pressure. What’s more, LNG is gas in liquid of low temperature (—162℃) and low pressure (below 0.6 MPa). The system is hard to leak out. If it did, LNG would gasify instantly and not explode. Now storage equipment is safer with technology’s development, which makes accidents like this hard to happen. Thus, security of LNG is high and allows people to use with no fear.
4. Easy to store and transport. The energy density of LNG is high. In the same container, LNG is 2.5 times as big as CNG.
5. Light weight and little space. There is only one gas cylinder in gas buses, with little space and light weight due to reasonable vehicle arrangement.
6. Longer range. It is learned that vehicle LNG gas cylinder of 240L, 275L, 335L, 375L, 410L have been developed.
V. National New Energy Bus Policy Trends and Development Trend Analysis of LNG Bus in 2013
Representatives of automobile industry on NPC & CPPCC in 2013 all promoted that application of new energy automobiles should be promoted through legislation and positively implementing environmental taxes revolutions. Development of new energy automobiles became the key point for all the present representatives. Especially in March 11th, automobile representatives got together to attend the forum to offer their advice and suggestions on development trends and ways to solve problems of new-energy vehicles. A multiple of excellent ideas have been shared in the industry policy, battery solutions, infrastructure construction, environmental protection and fuel saving. Wan Gang, director of Department of Technology, said that by December of 2012, more than 27,800 new-energy vehicles had been put into operation around the country, of which 80% were public transport buses. From now on, new-energy vehicles’ promotion still focused mainly on public transport, together with on the private using vehicle application. So far, publication of new-energy vehicles is more than private application. The reason of this situation is that new-energy vehicle policy is implementing according to public transport priority. Back to 2009, when at the beginning of promotion of new-energy vehicles, public transport is the first to start, including public transport buses and taxis. For the need of infrastructure and charging pile construction in the development of new-energy vehicles, private application is at a slow growth. In the first years after 2009, private application did not appear yet, which became at a fast growth in these recent two years. At present, there are already 4,400 people using new-energy vehicles, which will develop faster in the following days.
Wan Gang stressed that our automobile industry was still at the transition period, which asked us to clear challenges in the technological development of foreign new-energy vehicles and domestic haze weather, to grasp technical change opportunities, to enhance cooperative innovation of industry chain, to launch commercial mode innovation, to implement development strategy of public transport priority, to positively extend new-energy vehicle application areas and markets, and to accelerate its scale expansion. Due to the mature technology, cheap cost and low threshold of new-energy vehicles, it is the easiest to realize the application. Therefore, as far as I’m concerned, the LNG bus market development trend goes like this:
1. In 2013, LNG bus may be the body of growth in gas market
Since 2009, new-energy bus in China officially entered the bursting periods of propaganda and promotion. Various mainstream bus enterprises began to try gas bus market, approval and attention of customers in terminal markets began accumulating, policy background was good and national various policies were unveiled consecutively which were good for the industry. After 2012, motivated by good policies for enhancing developing gas buses, promotion and application of gas buses accelerated with more obvious market effects. Many bus enterprises began to set gas bus as their growth point in extending markets. Besides, public transport and passenger transport enterprises started to improve their purchasing of gas buses. With the slowing growth rate of domestic bus industry as a whole, year-on-year growth of gas buses turned out to be on the huge rise, which contributed to national bus industry at 6.54%, 7.78% and 10% in 2012, 2011 and 2012 respectively. It is also learned that the number of gas station construction was over 100 in 2011, and over 300 in 2012, and to be over 500 in 2013. Based on these, industry experts generally hold the idea that market contribution of gas buses can be up to 12% and LNG bus may be the body of growth in gas market.
2. LNG bus market will accelerate it extension to road passenger transport from urban public transport
To develop gas buses is not only each bus enterprise’ market conduct but also is a strategic decision about national energy security. After market trial as well as technological improvement, technological quality of our gas buses is becoming mature and steady comparatively right now. Apart from the outstanding fuel efficiency with about 30% reduction of fuel cost, tail gas is becoming cleaner, dynamic is greatly improved and one-time air entrained driving range increases, which completely satisfies PM2.5 environmental requirements and vehicle emission standards in different places, and gets closer to request of customers in all regional markets gradually.
It is learned that the former gas buses on the market were mainly LPG and CNG buses, which used mainly in urban public transport for the limit of max driving range. However, since 2010, many road passenger transport enterprises in China took adjustment of fuel structure as their first choice to reduce fuel and operation cost efficiently, making themselves off the hook. In market regions with guaranteed gas supply, LNG and CNG bus and chassis manufactured by some bus and chassis enterprises were put into middle or short passenger transport routes and created abundant operation value.
Based upon statistics, sales of LNG buses in 2011 were 5670 vehicles with a ratio of 2:1 between gas public transport buses and gas road buses. Sales of gas public transport and road buses remained the same and started to extend in 2012. All these data shows that although the body of growth in domestic gas bus market is still urban public transport bus for recent two years, the development trend of the whole market has already accelerated to extend to road and sightseeing markets.
LNG bus’ popularity in the market is not only good for motivating good policies but also is the inevitable choice of the objective market after improvements of technological quality and upgrading development. Of course, there is also the pushing strength out of companies’ chasing benefits. According to Zhang Jianping, president of Guangdong Maoming Bus transport Co., Ltd, domestic fuel price kept on the rise and some related departments of government did not provide some subsidy to road passenger transport enterprises. This meant that all the pressure should be taken within enterprises. As for it, many passenger transport enterprises made gas bus as their lifesaver, with which they can reduce pressure to improve their profitability. There is no doubt that LNG bus market moves from urban public transport to road passenger transport speedily.
3. Product accelerates transition from CNG bus to LNG bus.
Since CNG bus was promoted early, its market volume has been of certain scale, which was generally used in urban public transport and passenger transport markets and gained so much recognition and approval because of its performance and economic advantage. Compared with CNG bus, market volume of LNG bus is still less and it is still in the commissioning with its various changes and advantages of quality and technology. However, it is gratifying that the strong development of LNG bus, especially in road and sightseeing markets, can be the rising star despite of its lateness.
Popular in the suburbs and road passenger transport markets, LNG bus benefits from the limitation of CNG bus gas cylinder’s volume and its driving range unsatisfying transport requirements. Whereas, LNG bus can satisfy both the need of urban public transport and the requirements of passenger transport of middle or short distance. In addition, it is easy to fuel with higher security and an advantage of cost especially in the operation and gas engine manufacturing over CNG bus. It is said that the most outstanding feature of LNG bus is its long driving range. For an example, if equipped with a gas cylinder of 500?, it can run 500 to 800 kilometers with only 3 to 5 minutes to gas up. What’s more, the present diesel engine can be easily transformed to gas engine. Owing to these convenience and advantages, recently, public transport and road passenger transport enterprises began to try LNG bus in various domestic regions, which can be developed in 2013.
4. Dominance of production and marketing will show in the handover of margin to mainstream enterprises in 2013.
Development of gas bus has a over-70-year history in China. However, in a quite long time, many a mainstream bus enterprise did not pay much attention to technological innovation and development of gas bus. Oppositely, enterprises of no outstanding performance in regular vehicle fields achieved a lot and became the major enterprises of manufacturing and selling LNG buses in this special market segment.
From the sales rank of gas buses in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the top 5 LNG bus enterprises are mainly located in Chongqing, Sichuan and Xinjiang, regions of rich gas. Other gas bus enterprises are also mainly located in regions and cities of developed gas pipes and transport. It is because that these regions are of unique gas advantage, where you can exploit local material and the cost advantage is obvious in manufacturing and using gas buses.
With further definition about future gas bus development strategy by the country and related departments and implementation of Fuel Efficiency and New-energy Vehicles Development Plan and all good policies, it is better to perfect gas market price system continuously, proceed gas pipes and gas station construction, and enhance gas bus guidance to road passenger transport enterprises and policy support. Gas bus accelerates transition from CNG bus to LNG bus, which is not only a fuel revolution of bus market, but also is a new but inevitable trend for sustainable development of bus industry. It is our belief that after the following years, urban public transport and road passenger transport will be more obvious of gas and LNG market trend and development in 2013.