Italy is the European leader in natural gas consumption in the transport sector. Approximately 1.1 billion cubic meters of methane are consumed annually. The number of compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles exceeds 1.13 million units (about 2% of the country’s fleet of vehicles), which ranks it seventh in the world among countries that consume natural gas in the transport sector. From 2020, the number of CNG filling stations is 1424. In Italy there are about 1350 technical and re-use stations. He is also a pioneer in the production of natural gas-fired vehicles (e.g. Fiat, VW, Audi, Seat, Skoda).

The rapid development of natural gas transport in Italy took place during the 1970s and 1980s, during the first oil shocks when it became necessary to diversify the structure of fuel consumption, resulting in an active phase of transforming vehicles into the use of methane with an additional support factor in the form of a network of well-developed stations. The next increase came in the 1990s, when it became possible to upgrade small and medium-sized vehicles to use natural gas.

The rapid increase in demand for CNG is due to several reasons:

  • reduced gas tax as fuel
  • State subsidy programme
  • support for the purchase of methane-powered machines

We highlight that in 2012, the Italian government adopted a number of laws containing preferences for vehicles operating on natural gas. In particular, the requirements for the location and production equipment of petrol stations have been simplified, and the rules for the free transport of goods for vehicles with heavy tonnage using methane have been increased. So did the tax regulations, which supported the development of the CNG in differentiating the rates of excise duty.