A new app provides a map of natural gas fuel stations in the US says gizmag. Designed by Leonardo Academy, the free app is available for both iPhone and Android device. It is useful for vehicles running on CNG (compressed natural gas), LNG (liquefied natural gas), and LPG (liquefied petroleum gas.)  You can get the app from both the iTunes App Store and the Google Play Store (the Android market).

Commercial Carrier Journal reports on the global growth of the natural gas bus and truck market. Pike Research forecasts annual worldwide sales of these vehicles will more than double over the next seven years, growing from less than 70,000 in 2012 to more than 180,000 in 2019. “Even if current low prices for natural gas rise, fleet operators remain keenly interested in protecting themselves from the high cost of diesel fuel,” said Dave Hurst, senior research analyst. “This market is being driven by several key sectors, in particular refuse trucks, utilities, transit and, to a lesser degree, construction. As those sectors grow, the fortunes of natural gas trucks and buses will follow suit.”  Growth in natural gas trucks and buses will be strongest in the Asia Pacific region with China leading the liquid natural gas truck segment with 94% of the market. Natural gas bus sales in China will surpass 50,000 in 2019.

Automakers discuss the problems with building natural gas cars at the Midwest Energy News. The biggest barrier is the need for a large tank that would either have to fill the trunk (boot) or take away passenger space. For larger vehicles, such as pick-up trucks or long haul trucks which have more space to hide the tank, there is not the same concern. So far only Honda is selling a natural gas car although Mercedes plans to sell one next year. As WFPL notes, natural gas vehicles are more geared to fleets of larger vehicles such as waste disposal trucks.

American Auto analysts think natural gas vehicles have a bright future reports the Detroit Free Press. Once such advocate is General Motors chief economist Mustafa Mohatarem:.”The U. S. now has a 100-year supply of natural gas. I’d make a bet it’s the next big transportation fuel. The price is so much lower than gasoline — people will find a way to use it.”

The DONG-A ILBO tells us the global boom in shale gas is reshaping the fuel market in South Korea. The rising supply of shale gas is prompting a decline in the price of compressed natural gas, which is used in the country’s buses.  The number of CNG-powered vehicles has risen over the past year to 35,456 in July. With the economic recession driving up the prices of gasoline, diesel and liquefied petroleum gas, more buses, taxis and passenger cars are being converted to run on CNG.  There are no legal restrictions on converting existing vehicles to being powered by CNG. In addition, natural gas fuel is taxed much less than other fuels providing an incentive for conversion to this fuel. CNG bears a 27 won (2 cents) consumption tax while gasoline and diesel are taxed at 746 won (66 cents) and 529 won (47 cents) respectively.

gulfnews reports the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority is converting part of its fleet to CNG. So far it has converted 20 of its 500+ fleet of vehicles to run on compressed natural gas as it aims to reduce its CO2 emissions. About 20% of the authority’s vehicles will be converted toCNG by the end of 2015. “According to international studies a reduction of 10 – 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved throughout the lifecycle of the vehicle if converted to CNG.”

The State Journal says government employees in the US state of West Virginia attended a workshop on September 12th to learn about the benefits of natural gas vehicles. Home to the Marcellus Shale, West Virginia is moving toward using natural gas fuels for transportation. The state of Pennsylvania, also on the Marcellus Shale, is educating municipal and commercial fleet owners about the benefits of natural gas vehicles notes The Sacramento Bee.

US convenience store operator Kwik Trip announced it plans to open natural gas fuel stations in the US state of Minnesota we learn from KAAL tv. The company says it will add locations in Rochester and Owatonna this November and one in Albert Lea next spring. Currently CNG is selling in the area around $1.50 per gallon versus $4.00 for diesel and $3.90 for gasoline. See also the PostBulletin natural gas to be available at Rochester convenience store.

Other US cities to have natural gas fueling stations include Wausau, Wisconsin; Rib Mountain, Wisconsin; Falls, Pennsylvania; Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania; Altoona, Iowa; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.



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