Public CNG fueling station network: The Belgian example

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Vehicles powered by compressed natural gas are increasingly common throughout Europe. Following this trend, several large cities are going green with respect to municipal fleets (such as buses).

However, Belgium stands out from other countries that are participating in this green shift. In just a few years, Belgium has managed to increase its network of stations for natural gas vehicles (NGVs) fivefold.

In this article, learn more about the distribution of natural gas for vehicles in Belgium and how Quebec might draw inspiration from it.

The popularity of natural gas vehicles in Belgium

Natural gas vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in Belgium for sustainable mobility. In fact, in 2018, around 5000 natural gas vehicles (1000 heavy goods vehicles and 4000 passenger cars) were sold, compared to 3300 electric cars.

This popularity can be largely explained by the less volatile cost of natural gas for vehicles compared to the price of traditional gasoline or diesel. An increasingly varied range of vehicles also encourages private individuals to buy CNG vehicles in Belgium.

The public network of CNG fueling stations in Belgium is booming

This increase in demand for natural gas has propelled several fueling station projects in Belgium in recent years.

The province of Flanders was a little ahead of Wallonia in terms of fueling with 25 stations in April 2015, but the latter is slowly catching up. The Walloon Air Climat Energy Plan aims to deploy 220 CNG stations and 25 LNG stations on its territory by 2030. In the last four years, 25 stations have been inaugurated in Wallonia. Around fifty other station projects are in progress since 2019 as part of the Belgian plan.

How can Quebec draw inspiration from the example of Belgium?

For the time being, the majority of CNG vehicles on Quebec roads are heavy or utility vehicles. However, Quebec could draw inspiration from Belgium to raise public awareness of the advantages of CNG as an alternative to traditional fuels, such as its attractive price and environmental friendliness, by expanding its network of fueling stations.

Another positive development is that some North American automakers, such as Ford, Chevrolet and GMC, are developing new models of lightweight vehicles that run on CNG. We can therefore expect an increase in these vehicles in Quebec, as can be seen in Belgium.

EBI, Canada’s largest network of CNG fueling stations

In short, investing in the development of natural gas for vehicles has enabled Belgium to develop an impressive network of fueling stations in all its provinces. The popularity of CNG-powered vehicles continues to grow, especially for private individuals.

EBI’s network of public CNG fueling stations is the largest in Canada. Our goal is to democratize the use of natural gas throughout Quebec. Since 2013, we have opened five stations in Quebec. Please contact us to learn more about our fueling services!