By on August 9, 2012

Cars that use little or no gasoline seem to have a bit of a hard time, no matter how badly people want them. 22 states decided to do something unusual: They tell American carmakers to make natural gas-powered vehicles, and the states will buy them for state fleets.    

Yesterday, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin met with automobile manufacturers and dealers, and purchasing officials from more than a dozen states in Oklahoma City, CBS reports. 22 states join forces to solicit bids for the purchase of natural gas-powered vehicles for state fleets. Said the Governor:

“We’re serious. We’re ready to buy natural gas vehicles now. We all know that natural gas is a cleaner form of energy. It’s an abundant form of energy. It’s a less expensive and cheaper form of energy, one that will not only create American-made jobs, it will be good for our national security and economic security.”

The states have joined to issue an RFP. Responses from auto manufacturers and dealers are due Sept. 7, and purchasing officials expect award a contract by Oct. 5. The contract calls for  60 compact sedans, 850 mid- to full-size sedans, 400 half-ton trucks and 480 three-quarter ton trucks, all natural gas powered.

 

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58 Comments on “States To Carmakers: “CNG! CNG! CNG! CNG!”...”


  • avatar
    carve

    I used to work on an Air Force base that had natural gas Dodge Dakotas.

    I think CNG power is the way of the future, although we may need dual-fuel engines until the infrastructure improves.

    • 0 avatar
      gmichaelj

      I thought that gas engines could switch between gas and CNG with little modification. Is this becasue of new technology: didn’t this use to be the case?

      • 0 avatar
        George B

        CNG works better with higher compression. I think there are some intake valve issues where CNG doesn’t provide the cooling that liquid fuel and port fuel injection provides. There are high compression direct injection engines out in the marketplace that have had to deal with these issues.

        The problem with using government fleet purchases to stimulate CNG vehicle development is the only vehicles developed are fleet quality domestic brand cars and trucks. Great if you want low trim level cloth seat CNG powered Taurus or Impala. Not so great if you want CNG powered Accord EX with leather.

      • 0 avatar
        Herm

        You are probably thinking of LPG (barbecue gas) powered cars.. they can easily be dual fuel.

  • avatar

    As far as government boondoggles go, this one seems like one of the most harmless, maybe even beneficial.

    Since we’re on topic, would anyone explain why CNG is preferred over LNG?

    • 0 avatar
      surcouf

      LNG is liquified, very very cold.. but atmospheric pressure; needs a lot of expensive equipment to be kept liquid. If not, it will slowly vaporize; 2 solutions: if you want to keep the gas, you need a super solid tank. Or you vent it, and it is lost and polluting..

      LNG is good for shipping, not final user…

      CNG is just compressed natural gas but still gas

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      LNG, liquified natural gas, requires cryogenic -260 F cooling to get methane to stay liquid. CNG, compressed natural gas, compresses the gas up to 3600 psi, but doesn’t require cooling way below normal ambient temperature. LPG, liquified petroleum gas which is a mixture of propane and butane, only requires low hundreds of pounds of pressure to condense those gases to liquid at normal ambient temperature. Propane and butane are more expensive and less abundant than methane.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      I assume you mean LPG. Actually LPG is probably easaier to adapt and cheaper in terms of hardware. The reason CNG is prefered is because we now have a glut of natural gas. LPG is made from petroleum. In other words it comes from oil so LPG prices will rise and fall in tandem with oil prices.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    http://www.eia.gov/neic/experts/natgastop10.htm Oklahoma is third on that list. It makes sense for the governor to be pushing natural gas. It’s DOE website, I don’t know how much of an “honest broker” they are.

  • avatar
    ehsteve

    CNG cars and fillup stations were all over the place when I visited Malaysia a few years ago. All of the taxis we rode in were CNG, and we got to watch the fill process one time. Seemed pretty straightforward, I don’t know why the US is behind the curve here.

  • avatar
    eggsalad

    There are a ton of CNG taxis and city vehicles here. The big problem is that all the filling stations are privately owned and not accessible to the public.

  • avatar
    SunnyvaleCA

    Fleet vehicles make lots of sense because they solve a few problems all at once: a single fueling station at the home base is sufficient for the entire fleet and the routs that the vehicles take are of limited and predictable length so you won’t run out of gas half way through.

    • 0 avatar
      Russycle

      And fleet drivers generally won’t be carrying much in the trunk, and when they do need to they can check out a non-CNG vehicle for that trip. But a private owner is stuck with a vehicle with half the trunk eaten by the fuel tank. Thanks, but I’ll pass.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        That is partly because most cars were designed with gasoline tanks in mind, and CNG tanks were thrown in there as an afterthought. But if a car was designed with CNG tanks in mind, it could probably be integrated a lot better and the sacrifice in trunk space would be no worse than say, hybrid cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “That is partly because most cars were designed with gasoline tanks in mind, and CNG tanks were thrown in there as an afterthought.”

        No, CNG has much lower energy density than gasoline. In other words, the equivalent amount of energy naturally takes up more space.

        CNG isn’t a particularly good alternative for retail consumers. CNG tanks need to be replaced when they expire, and they are hazardous if not dealt with properly.

        I would probably trust the average large commercial fleet operator to make sure that the vehicles remain safe. But Joe Sixpack, who would be more inclined to skimp on paying for costly replacement tanks, is not going to be doing his fellow drivers any favors when something goes badly wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        But PCH, that is the same Joe Sixpack that replaces the fuel line to the carb on his B itchin’ Camaro with coolant hose and cuts the wire to the 02 sensor on his buick cause “he don’t need all that emissions crap” Gasoline is somewhat hazardous in and of itself not to mention the problems associated with contamination from leaks. States have automotive inspections. Yes, they are useless in my opinion but they don’t have to be. The problems you pose are real, but far from insurmountable.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        If Joe Sixpack decides to destroy his catalytic converter, then we end up with a marginal increase in the amount of smog. Not great, but not the end of the world, either.

        If he decides to neglect his CNG tanks, then the tanks could explode. And when those tanks go, they really go.

        Sorry, but I wouldn’t trust most of you out there to stay on top of the replacements or to do them properly. A fleet operator would have extra motivations to be diligent about it, but the average person does not.

      • 0 avatar
        icemilkcoffee

        PCH101: Yes and no. For sure the potential for ka-boom is there. But frankly the old 15 year expiration dates were ridiculously cautious. I believe they have lengthened it to 25 years now. So it will outlast your car pretty much.

      • 0 avatar
        Herm

        CNG tanks in vehicles dont explode because they have safety blow offs that vent before the pressure gets too high. There is a famous video on youtube of the tanks on bus letting go as a man in a scooter drove by.. it scared the heck out of him but nobody died and there were no flames.. NG does not ignite easily.. unlike, lets say, hydrogen…

        Modern CNG tanks have no wear issues or inspection requirements, they will outlast the car.

        The tanks have to be cylindrical, so they will be harder to place in a vehicle, and yes they are bulkier. Perfect for lite duty trucks and their thirsty V8 engines. It can be an issue in small cars.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Herm,

        Actually, there is no law (of physics or otherwise) that says either CNG or CH2 tanks have to be cylindrical.

        There could multiple smaller spherical tanks connected by stainless steel tubing in various “convenient” locations even in small cars…such as in the trunk behind the rear wheel-wells; under the rear seats; and so on. Perhaps even in the engine bay toward the fire wall, although space seems to have been at premium in there in the last 25 years!

        And spherical tanks are of course much stronger than cylindrical ones. Or alternatively, lighter steel can be used in spherical tanks to get the same strength, and thereby save weight, a key design issue in cars right now.

        Did a lot of work using the large steel cylindrical tanks (argon) in grad school – they are a bear, and would weigh down a small sub-compact car unreasonably.

        ————

  • avatar
    Crosley

    Municipal fleet vehicles are a no-brainer.

    In addition to likely saving billions of tax dollars on less expensive CNG as opposed to gasoline, it would also help alleviate petroleum demand issues in the future if you have millions of cars not consuming gasoline. It should ease prices for gasoline consumers. CNG also burns about 90% cleaner than a similar gasoline powered engine.

    $5 a gallon gas will be in the US in less than 2 years, now is the time to start making these types of transitions. This is a relatively painless way for the government to get the ball rolling. I happen to think consumers will take to CNG because it allows them to keep driving the same types of cars for substantially less, it lessens our dependence on foreign oil, and it’s substantially cleaner for the environment.

  • avatar
    Robert Schwartz

    Natural gas and gasoline are not distinct items. Chemists can, and do at various places in the world, change one into the other.

    Today, NG is about $3/million BTUs, WTI crude (American midlands) is $93/bbl, and Brent, which prices gasoline on the East Coast and in Europe, is $113/bbl. A barrel of oil (42 US gallons, 159 liters) has an energy content of about 6 million BTUs. This means that NG is either 80% under priced, or that crude is headed for a crash down to $20/bbl. You may place your bets with the croupier, or your commodities broker.

    If NG continues to be so cheap in relation to oil, oil companies will build facilities (over the dead bodies of environmentalists who will die unmourned) to convert NG into gasoline and diesel which they will sell for a handsome profit.

    Refitting cars just puts the bother and expense of exploiting this anomaly on to the end user.

    There are good safety and tax reasons to hope for a solution by petroleum refiners. Liquid hydrocarbons are safer to handle and store than NG. Also, fueling the nations cars on NG will remove the gas tax revenue stream from governments, which really do need that revenue to maintain and expand the highway system. Do you really want them to install GPS monitors in your car. I though not.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Huh? How do you convert natural gas into gasoline?

      • 0 avatar
        dima

        Here is how it works: The natural gas is cracked with heat—produced by burning some of the natural gas to generate temperatures from 2,700 to 3,300 degrees Fahrenheit (1,480 to 1,815 degrees Celsius)—into acetylene, a simple hydrocarbon. The acetylene is absorbed by a liquid solvent and then reacted to produce ethylene, a longer hydrocarbon chain that is the starting constituent of many plastics, detergents and other products. When liquid fuel is the goal, then the ethylene is chemically bound together to form even longer hydrocarbon chains that we know as gasoline or kerosene (jet fuel).

      • 0 avatar
        highdesertcat

        dima, the Germans did excellent research in the field of hydrocarbons with their applied science projects during WWII producing hexane, octane, benzine, gasoline, diesel, oils and lubricants and various other molecules of the cracking process.

        Much research was done simultaneously into converting coal into liquid fuels.

      • 0 avatar
        nikita

        It is relatively easy to produce distillates (diesel, jet, heating oil) using Fischer-Tropsch Gas-To-Liquids technology. Synthetic high octane gasoline (alkylate) cannot be produced that way. The conversion may be theoretically possible, but not practical or economical at a large scale. So, it is still more efficient to run cars and trucks directly on natural gas. Jet aircraft, ships and trains can use liquid fuels made from it.

        CNG dispensed from commercial refuelling stations is taxed the same as gasoline, by BTU equivalent. BEV’s could lead to GPS road taxation, not CNG.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Even if the end product, weather that be CNG or a gasoline product produced from it costs equal or even a little more than current gas production methods I think it is still worthwhile given the nature of the global oil market and out relationship with a chunk of those countries producing the oil. The next time a round of instability breaks out in the middle east or a dictator invades another oil producing country it would be nice to look at the Chinese and say “looks like you guys have a problem” rather than deploying half the army to the other side of the world. Additionally, wouldn’t this take a chunk out of global oil demand and force prices down further? Why we fail to exploit domestic energy sources to the fullest is beyond me.

  • avatar
    redmondjp

    Um, what state is T. Boone Pickens from again?

    Oh, what an amazing coincidence!

  • avatar
    50merc

    Memo to: American vehicle purchasers
    From: Oklahoma
    Re: Hurry up and buy CNG-powered cars!
    Look, for years and years we’ve been trying to get you to buy cars that burn natural gas. Here in Oklahoma we produce a LOT of the stuff, and the price has been slumping. So listen up! The industry and the state treasury want more money. Thanking you in advance,
    Love, Oklahoma.

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      Memo to: Oklahoma
      From: Cynical and Idiotic Americans
      Re: Re: Hurry up and buy CNG-powered cars
      Look, we get that Oklahoma and the other natural gas producing states can supply a sizeable portion of our energy needs through natural gas production. We however, don’t care. We don’t like the politics of your state and frankly, would rather continue to give money to pie in the sky technologies and place our national security in the hands of countrise like Saudi Arabia and Venezuala. Furthermore we are not bothered by the loss of 6000+ American lives and billions upon billions of dollars fighting in wars that would likely not be necessasary were it not for our dependance on oil procured in middle eastern nations. I am Ivy league educated after all and my son or daughter will never be the ones bleeding in the sand as they are too good for that sort of thing.
      Thanks,
      Boston, NY, LA, San Francisco, Chicago, and a lot of other places.

  • avatar
    icemilkcoffee

    It’s totally logical to push for more CNG cars. What I don’t get is why there is a $10,000 premium on the CNG Honda Civics (the only factory produced CNG passenger car at the moment). The engine is the same as the gasoline engine in design (only higher compression ratio). The tanks are expensive, but at the most they would cost the manufacturer no more than ~$3000. The rest of the items are all low tech filters and pressure regulators. Why does it add up to a $10,000 premium? If they could keep the price premium to ~$3000, like a diesel, I bet they could unload these by the boatloads.

    • 0 avatar
      nikita

      Build them on the regular assembly line by the tens of thousands and watch those costs melt away. Right now its a hand-made conversion. Large companies dont do small batches economically.

      • 0 avatar
        mkirk

        Wonder if a small company could work with an OEM and do this. Kind of like a Shelby American set up where the end product is waranteed by the OEM, but not actually built by them.

        I think a chunk of the cost is in EPA certification as well. These are not blanket certified just because they are based on an EPA compliant gasoline motor. I don’t know how significant that cost is, but in the case of CNG variants there is a much smaller pool of sales to spread those costs over.

    • 0 avatar
      George B

      icemilkcoffee asked “Why does it add up to a $10,000 premium?”

      My best guess is that the consumers for CNG Honda Civics are mostly government agencies spending other people’s money for cars they won’t be driving in response to government environmental incentives. Retail consumers that intend to drive a CNG Honda Civic would balk at paying more for the car than the price difference in fuel used. Giving up half the trunk and dedicated CNG would also be deal breakers. Retail customers would want bi-fuel CNG and gasoline and would accept shorter CNG range in exchange for more trunk space and lower price. However, since this is being driven by government incentives instead of fuel cost savings, the Honda Civic GX is an expensive car with a cheap interior (two speaker sound system!), almost unusable trunk, and no capability to run on gasoline.

    • 0 avatar
      Toad

      It is more complicated than the price of the tank. Various systems have to be adapted to burn natural gas, and this includes not only a fair number of parts but quite a bit of relatively expensive labor to do the retrofit work. In addition, the vehicle has to be transported to the company doing the retrofit.

      Mass production and economies of scales would push prices much lower. As it is I would not be surprised if most manufacturers are selling CNG vehicles at break-even or even a loss.

  • avatar
    harshciygar

    Has everybody forgot that CNG vehicles can take 12+ hours to fill from a home filling station? Or that the first-fillers cost upwards of $750,000 on account of how much redundant safety features are worked into it?

    I think CNG has a place in certain fleet vehicle situations. A more likely solution is CNG-powered hydrogen vehicles (yes, it can be done).

    Personally, I’m a fan of propane. Cleaner burning, better on the engine, and you can make lots of power!

    • 0 avatar
      dima

      Like you, I am in favour of propane/butane mix. For some reason, unlike the rest of the world, here in USA it cost more than Petrol.

    • 0 avatar
      Herm

      Eaton just announced development work on a $500 home CNG compressor, that can refill your car in 5 minutes. They use something called a “liquid piston” and thus no wear issues and expensive maintenance like the previous Phil home compressor.

  • avatar
    andyinsdca

    All of the taxis I rode around in South Korea were CNG. They were big Hyundais (Soanata? Whatever…) and they still had decent trunk room. (though, for some weird reason, they all had cassette players, too)

  • avatar
    oldyak

    can I use it to fire up my grill?

  • avatar
    mkirk

    I wish they would make it easier to convert an older car. This can be done safely and many a Toyota 1FZ-FE is happily pushing forklifts around on CNG (or LPG, can’t remember which). However the EPA will not allow this to be done legally because the motor was never originally certified to run on CNG even though a properly done CNG conversion would likely pollute less. With Americans wanting to hold on to cars longer nowadays this could be a way to get some of the older polluters to clean up with the benefit of running on a domestically sourced fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Actually the EPA changed its rules and they made it a lot easier to convert cars that are > 2 year old:
      http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/fuels/altfuels/420f11006.htm

      The California CARB is another story altogether though.

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Hydrogen will be the ultimate energy carrier eventually. BMW was right, but far too early with their “Hydrogen 7″ test cars. We don’t have large infrastructure for that rapid adoption right now; and there are some storage / venting / containment issues.

    Yes, I know that CH4 is already 80% hydrogen by atomic count, so why not use CNG while it’s here? Well, LNG has many of the same issues as LH2; and CNG has many of the same issues as CH2. But either form of CH4 is still half as polluting (read: CO2-forming) as gasoline, but burning H2, either as liquid or gas, produces NO CO2 AT ALL (Just water vapor).

    So, if we want to really take a bold step forward, let’s just set up wind turbines on coast lines; do some hydrolysis of sea-water for H2 (and O2 as a gift); and save the CH4 for making polymers,—something H2 by itself cannot do.

    Yes, we have to start small with modest infrastructure, but isn’t that same “small start” problem that happened with gasoline engines in the 1890′s and the early part of the 20th Century? I’d recommend coastlines along northern California, Oregon, and Washington, — they seem nicely windy.

    And for us enthusiasts, if H2 is used in ICE-mode, nicely demonstrated by BMW (as opposed to fuel cell), then we could still easily have:
    1) Cars that go “vroom” in the night (and in the day, too!);
    2) No temperature-dependent, range-limited, coal-buring EV’s;
    3) Manual transmissions (repeat: MANUAL TRANSMISSIONS);
    4) Blazing sports performance (H2 has about 115 octane rating, if my memory serves);
    5) Zero-emissions, energy-neutral transportation;
    6) No bellyaching from tree-huggers or snail-savers (^_^)…

    How good does it get? So, let’s get creative and courageous, folks….

    ———

    • 0 avatar
      mkirk

      If H2 ever catches on it is my understanding that Wankels are very well suited to running on Hydrogen as a fuel. Perhaps the RX9 will see the light of day eventually after all.

    • 0 avatar
      dima

      Well, one issue with H2 burning cars. You need to have new engine design if you want long-term reliability. H2 does nothing in terms of lubrication of upper cylinder. It also produce H2O and corrosion become a bigger factor. You can run ICE petrol engine on H2, but for how long?

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Dima…

        Yeah, I know. Reportedly, the Germans have already solved that problem…..at least on the BMW “Hydrogen 7″. I don’t know what exactly they did to the valves and rings, but they had been working on ICE hydrogen propulsion since the late 1970′s. And obviously the “Hydrogen 7′s” ran just fine for the contract period with those selected celebrities. One source reported that key wear sites in the engine used rather exotic space-age, solid-lubricant technology. (Molybdenum disulfide comes to mind, and so do hydrophobic ceramic polymers…..)

        But the “Hydrogen 7″ was a dual-fuel experiment, essentially a modified, “hardened” gasoline engine with all the intake stuff for liquid H2 added on. An interview with one of their engineers revealed that things would be even better if an ICE were designed for H2 from the ground up. I believe them.

        The benefits of H2 fueling of our vehicles are so huge that they are impossible to ignore. We really need to plunge forward into that technology as rapidly as possible. An old chemist once told me that the most wasteful thing we can do with hydrocarbon supplies (petroleum products of any type, CH4 included) ultimately is to burn them: we need them for polymers, fertilizers, petro-chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.

        ————

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      If someone can produce a cheap, easily mass produced durable fuel cell that can be made with materials that aren’t exotic, then you’ll be onto something.

      But so far, none of those things have happened, and aren’t even close to happening.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Pch101….

        You certainly are right. Fuel cells may not be the H2 way-to-go for the immediate future. A major and currently unknown breakthrough would have to occur to get that approach “down to earth” commercially. (I realize that Dennis Simanaitis, writing for “Road & Track”, may disagree.)

        But H2-ICE can be done right now. And it has been done in demonstration form with the “Hydrogen 7″. It just needs infrastructure by a country and commitment by some car company to put money into a specialized engine based on all the technology we already know, but with increased wear-resistance in key areas (see comment above).

        Maybe America is not that country right now. Perhaps the Germans (BMW?) are already working on a small specialized H2-engine and building wind-powered H2-infrastructure over there. They certainly have taken the lead on much advanced automotive technology in the past, and this may be right up their alley. A recent article by David Kiley in “Bimmer” magazine (#108, August, 2012, Pg 81) suggests exactly that scenario.

        (BTW: Corrosion caused by H2O vapor from H2 combustion is not significantly more serious than H2O vapor from gasoline combustion, since 2/3 of combustion products from hydrocarbon fuels are H2O molecules already! We simply use stainless steel exhaust components where needed.)

        ——–

    • 0 avatar
      carve

      Fuel cell hydrogen vehicles only have about 1/3 to 1/2 of the well-to-wheel efficiency of battery electrics and require far greater infrastructure investments. Figure 1/6 the efficiency if you burn the hydrogen. Burning CNG directly would similar environmental, economical, and national security improvements at a much lower investment, which means it’ll be adopted much more quickly, making those benefits come much sooner and cheaper. This is the bridge we need to battery electrics.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        Thanks, carve….

        As you note, the well-to-wheel efficiency of any H2 use currently is poor, simply because virtually all H2 in this country comes from reduction of petroleum by-products! Of course that’s inefficient. You actually spend energy THREE times: once to recover; once to reduce; once to burn.

        The only comfortable** way H2 generation will make long-term sense is with wind-powered hydrolysis of sea-water. Then you can run either fuel-cells (inefficiently) if you want, or ICE’s, which are preferred for real driving.

        EV’s make no sense at all from an enthusiast’s objective viewpoint, unless there is a huge breakthrough (10-fold or more) in battery-strorage capacity per volume. And a huge reduction in temperature-dependence. Think northern Minnesota in January: -30 deg F. But even then, where is the authentic “vroom” going to come from? And what about the objections raised in point 2) above? (3:01 AM entry),— namely, electric-power sourcing from coal, which averages about 75% in this country. People who buy EV’s are simply transferring the pollution problem from their neighborhoods to the neighborhoods surrounding the coal-fired power plants 75% of the time, again, on the average. And where are you going to charge EV’s during massive prolonged power failures, such as in India this past month? (Yes, it can AND has happened in the USA, remember?)

        Here is a more comprehensive list of EV issues, including the coal-buring item above:
        1) Heating occupants, seats, and windshields in Winter (> large battery drain);
        2) Cooling occupants in Summer (> VERY large battery drain);
        3) Huge battery-pack replacement cost after 8-10 years, limiting vehicle lifetime and forcing lease-acquistion instead of purchase; 
        4) Large-scale recycling difficulties of battery returns/replacements;
        5) Dangerous, limited, and “strangle hold” foreign supply of rare-earth elements for batteries and motors;
        6) Limited range for travel, currently between 50-150 miles (“range anxiety”);
        7) Without gearing, large (unexpected and dangerous) torque delivery off-the-line at zero RPM (just great for teenage girls on cellphones!);
        8) The power grid is not designed to handle the load of large-scale electric transportation;
        9) Charging stations at destinations and households are about $2K each, and are not in place generally;
        10) “Refueling” times are 24 to 4 hours (depending on use of 110 volts, 220 volts, or 440 volts);
        11) Pollution problems are transferred to coal-fired power plants (comprising 75% of power-genertion in the US), worse CO2 polluters than clean diesel;
        12) Stray electric-current safety issues in accidents, impeding recovery of occupants by emergency personnel;
        13) Large added weight and poor weight distribution deter good vehicle driving performance, braking, and accident-avoidance.;
        14) Added electronic / mechanical complexity (e.g., hybridization, KERS*, etc) means poorer long-term reliability and endurance;
        15) Disproportionately high purchase prices and depreciation rates for the level of utility otherwise obtainable with ICE** vehicles;

        As you can see, a lot if problems would have to be solved before EV’s can get close to ICE’s practicality. And some people, like Ed Lapham, writing for” AutoNews”, have reported that ICE’s will be with us until at least 2050, even using just petroleum fuels.

        ** Nuclear power is another option, but nobody is excited about that right now.
        ————

  • avatar
    W.Minter

    Here’s a nice overview of (mostly) available CNG powered cars and trucks in Europe. Quite amazing.

    Cars: http://www.erdgas-mobil.de/privatkunden/vielseitig/
    Trucks: http://www.erdgas-mobil.de/flottenkunden/vielseitig/

    Sergio, bring your Fiat Doblo Cargo Natural Power Turbo (starts at – converted – 18500 USD plus tax, full CNG conversion included) stateside, 5 seater to avoid truck import taxes, rebadge it as Dodge Tradesman. Kaching!

  • avatar
    nomandamarinero

    I don’t understand how when you are talking about CNG Argentina is never mentioned, it’s the country where there are biggest number of cars converted to run on the stuff, going back to the 1980s.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Step 1: Convert the US trucking fleet to CNG. Trucks have room for the tanks and burn a huge percentage of US liquid fuel. Payback is far better in a 5 mpg vehicle driven hundreds of miles per day than a 38 mpg commuter Civic, or any other private passenger vehicle.
    Step 2: When Step 1 causes diesel prices to crater, my fellow internet buddies and I can finally get our turbodiesel wagons (with a stick, of course)!


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