Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs)
What’s the Status of Natural Gas Vehicles?
Natural gas vehicle sales are rising! America’s automobile giants Ford, General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group are making more NGV vehicles.
Safe and Reliable
CNG is actually a safer fuel than gasoline. After all, natural gas is used in virtually every home. Unlike gasoline that can pool on the ground in the event of an accident or leak, CNG dissipates harmlessly into the air. With a very narrow range of flammability to be combustible and nearly twice the ignition temperature of gasoline, it’s also less likely to cause a fire. Because natural gas is such a clean burning fuel, carbon deposits in an engine are nil, reducing cylinder and ring wear so engine life can be much greater than when running on gasoline. Oil change and tune up intervals can also be extended.
Natural Gas is Growing in Popularity
Natural Gas Vehicles are growing in popularity. Even though electric cars are starting to gain popularity thanks to Elon Musk and Tesla Motors, natural gas vehicles are still gaining demand. One thing these all have in common is that they can be refueled at a central location. This is not the case with cars and light trucks that travel where natural gas might be difficult to find.
Convenient At-Home Refueling
At present there are about 1,100 natural gas stations available nationwide, compared to 175,000 stations dispensing gasoline. Refueling at a fast-fill CNG station takes no longer than tanking up with gasoline. As the fueling infrastructure builds for CNG, the inconvenience of limited public fueling opportunities is softened by the availability of filling up at home.
Fuelmaker manufactures Phill, a residential natural gas refueling station that can be installed in a garage or outside a home. This will allow refueling using a home’s natural gas supply. The refueling appliance does require as much as 16 hours to fill an almost empty tank, although it’s likely that a natural gas vehicle refueled at home will rarely have an empty tank, and an overnight top-off will usually be sufficient for the daily commute. In many cases, vehicles fueled up at favorable natural gas home rates can operate as cheaply as the equivalent of $1.25 to $1.50 per gallon.
Find a CNG Fueling Station
To locate or plan a route for CNG fueling stations, simply enter an address or ZIP code in the United States. It will indicate alternative fueling stations along your route or enter a state to see a station count and locations. Click here for all the updated CNG fueling stations.
Care About the Environment?
Using CNG means releasing less pollution into the air.
Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) can have a direct, positive impact on America’s air quality and environment – today. NGVs in urban environments are a solution for meeting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) non-attainment measures and improving local air quality.
Emissions Reduction in Real Numbers
NGVs improve air quality through dramatic reductions in emissions, such as:
Reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 20% to 30%
Reducing carbon monoxide (CO) emissions up to 75%
Reducing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by approximately 50%
Reducing up to 95% of particle matter (PM) emissions
Reducing volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions by 55%
Source: TIAX Report - Full Fuel Cycle Assessment: Well-To-Wheels Energy Inputs, Emissions, and Water Impacts, 08/2007 (Prepared for California Energy Commission).
Source: U.S. Dept. of Energy - Argonne National Laboratory Report: A Full Fuel-Cycle Analysis of Energy and Emissions Impacts of Transportation Fuels Produced from Natural Gas, 12/1999.
Natural Gas Vehicle Facts
According to U.S. Energy Information Administration, only 1 percent of today’s natural gas consumption in the U.S. is currently used for vehicle fuel.
Natural gas can reduce greenhouse gas emissions for heavy-duty trucks, when compared to diesel powered vehicles, by 23 percent. Compared to diesel powered vehicles, using natural gas can reduce greenhouse gas emissions for passenger vehicles by 30 percent.
Natural gas engines reduce smog-producing pollutants by up to 90 percent and hydrocarbon emissions by 50-70 percent, compared to gasoline.
Converting one truck from diesel to natural gas is the equivalent of taking as many as 325 cars off the road in terms of pollution reduction.
Converting just 350,000 of the more than 2 million 18-wheelers on the road from burning imported diesel to running on domestic natural gas would create 420,000 jobs directly and add an additional 1.2 million jobs indirectly.
Natural gas powers more than 12 million vehicles on the road today. Unfortunately, only about 250,000 of these are being used in the U.S., according to GE. The average growth rate in the U.S. shows a 3.7% increase per year since 2000, as contrasted with a booming global growth rate of 30.6% per year.
Approximately 20 percent of public transit buses in the U.S. run on compressed natural gas (CNG). In Los Angeles alone there are more than 2,800 NGV buses in operation. States with the highest consumption of natural gas for transportation are California, New York, Texas, Georgia, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia.
NGVs have also become popular among many types of fleets besides public transportation, including taxi fleets, courier and delivery fleets, government and police fleets, community fleets, and trades and commercial fleets.
Expanding the numbers of CNG fueling stations would allow for the increase of CNG vehicles on U.S. roads. There are 12,000 around the world, yet the U.S. claims about 500 public stations. New technologies and greater demand mean that the number of new stations is climbing rapidly.
Natural Gas has an existing distribution infrastructure. With 1.5 million miles of gas pipe and distribution lines crisscrossing the country.
An 18-wheeler uses up to 20,000 gallons of fuel per year. Replacing only 100,000 of these trucks with those powered by natural gas would immediately cut our consumption of diesel fuel up to 2 billion gallons per year.
Up-to-Date Natural Gas Vehicle Information
To keep abreast of the natural gas vehicle availability, conversion options, current laws and incentives please click here.