Earlier this week we wrote about the natural gas revolution that looks to transform global energy economics and politics over the next few decades. One of the areas that will be affected is transportation as automobile companies produce compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG) or flex or hybrid vehicles that combine natural gas with gasoline or electricity.  These changes are certain to alter North American driving habits given the huge shale gas finds in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

Currently natural gas in North America is priced up to $1.50 to $2.50 per gallon lower than diesel or gasoline (depending upon local markets). Hence, it reduces costs significantly for vehicle and fleet owners.  It costs approximately $12,000 to $20,000 to convert a large truck to natural gas which, at current CNG prices, makes for about a two to three year payback period.

These developments led us to add a specific weekly posting on the natural gas transportation market rather than cover it under our electric vehicle report.  So welcome to our first post of Natural Gas Vehicle News.

TheTrucker says that Clean Energy Fuels Corp. plans to build 150 liquid natural gas (LNG) fueling stations for America’s Natural Gas Highway by 2013. The company anticipates having 70 stations open by the end of 2012 in 33 states. Many of the fueling stations will be located at Pilot-Flying J Travel Centers  Pilot-Flying J is the largest truck-stop operator in the US with more than 550 retail properties in 47 states. The stations coincide with the expected arrival of new natural gas truck engines well suited for heavy-duty trucking.

Waste Management has decided to convert its entire trucking fleet to natural gas reports The Petrolia Topic. The company operates 21,000 trucks across North America picking up curbside residential and commercial waste and recycled materials. Currently it has 1400 running on CNG and 22oo on biodiesel. For each truck converted to CNG, the use of diesel fuel is reduced by an average of 8,000 gallons per year. Waste Management operates 17 CNG fuelling stations in North America with plans to have nearly 50 operational by the end of 2012.

The Dominican Republic is looking at more natural gas vehicles on its roads, reports Dominican Today. Currently there are 4000 natural gas vehicles in the Caribbean country but this could skyrocket to 100,000 in the next 5 years.

MSN wonders if natural gas will fuel more than just truck fleets in the United States. The author sees the lack of fueling stations and the size of the gas tank as a potential barrier to car owner interests.

The Boston Globe says eight US states are pushing auto manufacturers to develop affordable natural gas vehicles. Colorado, Oklahoma Pennsylvania, Wyoming, Maine, Utah, New Mexico and West Virginia want to replace vehicles in their state fleets with ones that run on natural gas. The idea is to drive demand for natural gas vehicles and fueling stations.

The US state of Texas is making grants available for natural gas fueling stations we learn from the Star-Telegram. $4.5 million in grants is available to create a natural gas infrastructure in the state to promote the fuel. Maximum grant amounts are $100,000 for a compressed natural gas project; $250,000 for a liquefied natural gas project; and $400,000 for a combined project.  Last year a natural gas station opened at Dallas-Fort Worth airport that serves the general public as well as taxi fleets and shuttle vehicles. Texas is the nation’s leading natural gas producer with some 40 fueling stations operating in the state.

The Wisconsin Rapids Tribune says that there will be a compressed natural gas station in central Wisconsin later this year. Following discussions among a gas station owner, truck fleet owners, and a firm that converts vehicles to natural gas, the decision has been make to locate CNG pumps at an existing truck stop.

citizensvoice mentions that Plains Township in the US state of Pennsylvania has acquired its first natural gas recycling truck powered by local shale gas. With diesel at $4.00 per gallon and natural gas selling at $1.50 per gallon, the truck will save taxpayers $8000 a year on fuel costs. Other communities in the area have also indicated their intention to purchase natural gas trucks and build natural gas filling stations.








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1 Comment on Natural Gas Vehicle News

  1. inabs says: