On Thursday we made our way down to the 2014 Natural Gas Vehicle Industry (NGV) Global Conference which was co-located with Alternative Clean Transportation Expo at the Long Beach Convention Center.
It’s an biannual event that brings together natural gas and bio gas vehicle experts and companies from all over the world. The topic is extra exciting this year since the North American shale gas revolution has led to a record cost spread between natural gas and petroleum fuel prices, spurring the domestic market to evolve from one traditionally driven by policies, regulatory drivers, and incentives, to one driven by NGV project economics, ROIs, and the corporate bottom line.
At the fair we had the opportunity to interview Mats Ekelund, Senior Advisor at Strateco Development AB and also a fellow Swede who has been a pioneer within the industry and who also used to be both Vice President and Senior VP at NGV Global.
Back in the 80’s Mats started a project transforming the bus fleet in Linköping into Bio Gas driven vehicles. After only three years the entire fleet was transformed. This was the starting point of his career within the clean transportation industry. The next couple of years Mats participated in many international projects across the globe. During the last 10 years Mats has also been working on the financial side of the transportation sector.
During the NGV Global Conference 2014 Mats was invited to be the moderator of a seminary about renewable natural gas i.e bio gas for low carbon operations and being one of the main speakers in another seminary, in which he explained why Sweden has become a country that is far ahead in some areas compared to the bigger part of the world when it comes to clean transportation technology and market.
When we ask why the transformation has become so successful in Sweden Mats explains “In Sweden we have made sure that all involved stakeholders, the customers, the automotive industry, the legislator and the gas supplier, has cooperated to produce and make profit together”.
The winning concept, according to Mats, is that all four stakeholders have to be on board, which has not been the case in for example the United States.
Written by Vanessa Kuslap and Erik Oredsson