energydigital asks: Is Natural Gas the Next Generation of Vehicle Fuel in America? General Motors is about to find out with the introduction of its new bi-fuel pick up trucks.  With a range of 650 miles, the trucks will have both a compressed natural gas (CNG) tank and a gasoline tank. The firm believes these trucks will prove to be an accurate barometer of the true natural gas market in the US. “The biggest challenge we face is current (refueling) infrastructure,” says GM product manager Mike Jones. “There is quite a bit of variation from state to state. Bi-fuel pickups offer flexibility to go beyond the range of a CNG station to where the next might be, alleviating that concern for the buyer.” Currently there are less than 400 CNG fueling stations throughout the US. Chrysler and Ford are also looking at introducing CNG vehicles.

Bloomberg looks at the potential for liquified natural gas (LNG) as a transportation fuel in North America.  In Shale Glut Means $1-a-Gallon Savings at the Pump the post explores the efforts by Royal Dutch Shell to promote the fuel in Canada for long-haul trucks with large gas tanks. Shell is working with filling-station company Flying J Inc. to offer LNG to trucks along a 1600 km (900 mile) highway from Fort McMurray in Alberta, the heart of Canada’s oil industry, to Vancouver on the Pacific coast. Shell eventually plans to use LNG to power trains, ships and mining industry engines and expects to expand its use as a transport fuel to Europe, China, Latin America and Australia. “Gas in our view will be the fuel of the future,” Shell Chief Executive Officer Peter Voser recently told shareholders. Some expect the natural gas-powered-truck market share in North America to expand to about 20% in the next several years, up from about 6% today.

Both public and private run operations are saving thousands with CNG writes the Shreveport Times. The post highlights the financial savings from using CNG by local firms in the Louisiana city.

Taking a Pencil to A Natural Gas Truck in the Wall Street Journal explores the economics of converting an existing vehicle to natural gas. The conclusion is that it doesn’t make sense for an individual but it does pay off for fleet owners who can recoup their conversion costs in about 3 years

Malta Today reports that Liquigas Malta has started selling Auto Liquigas fuel, a cheaper alternative to petrol and diesel. Autogas is the term used to describe liquified petroleum gas (LPG) used as an automotive fuel. LPG is primarily derived during the extraction of natural gas and oil, and is also produced in refineries. Autogas sells for about half the price of petrol and diesel.

The Jerusalem Post says that natural gas for cars can get us off oil. More Israelis will soon be able to turn to natural gas to power their automobiles, the Energy and Water Ministry announced this week.  The Minister said the the country was creating quality and safety standards for natural gas vehicles and refueling stations which would promote their rapid use.

Taking advantage of a $1.50 price differential between CNG and gasoline, the city of Concord, New Hampshire has converted two of its vans to natural gas reports the ConcordPatch.

Tags: , , , , , ,