The Problem with Natural Gas Vehicles

The odds are if you’re reading this blog - if you’re on CNGnow, you already know the benefits of natural gas as a transportation fuel. You’ve karate chopped straight through the hubbub and have realized that CNG equals energy independence. It equals freedom from OPEC! Beyond that, it’s a fuel that’s much better for the environment, about half the price and vastly abundant in America.

Because you know everything above, you’re probably wondering why there isn’t an NGV parked in every driveway in your neighborhood. The answer to that question is two parts. First, there’s the availability of vehicles. We’ll address that in a later post, but rest assured progress is being made. (Exhibit A)

The next issue is infrastructure. In the United States there are over 125,000 fueling stations for gasoline. There are less than 400 public CNG stations. On average, that’s less than eight per state. Bummer! The good news though is that CNG stations are going up gangbusters. They are popping up constantly and they’re being built everywhere. If you live in California, Oklahoma, Utah or many other areas, driving a natural gas vehicle is no sweat. In other places, however, finding a station might be a struggle. Check out our Station Map to see if there are any around you!

The sad, honest truth is that we’re not quite there. Though it’s a great option for many people, driving a natural gas-powered vehicle isn’t right for every one yet (keyword: yet). I personally drive a bi-fuel Tahoe, just like the one Graham Colton is taking on the Go Natural tour. I get to benefit from CNG when it’s available, but when I’m on a trek (or in Graham’s case, a tour) that takes me outside the range of a CNG station, I can use gasoline.

So, what’s the problem with natural gas vehicles? Nothing. We just need more of them and we need more places to fill them up.


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I see the glass half full, especially considering the investments companies like Verizon, AT&T and UPS are making in converting their fleets to compressed natural gas. As those fleets grow, so will the number of stations and so will the number of consumer NGVs on the road.
Chesapeake is committed to helping increase the number of CNG stations, as well as educating business owners on the benefits of converting their fleets.
I drive a CNG truck.  I love it.  Especially at the pump.  America will figure it out very soon and if the President will stay out of our way, it'll all happen smoothly.  Chesapeake is leading the way in turning this country around.  Not only from oil dependence, but also economically.  The government buried us.  Capitalism lead by CHK will lead us to the top of the super power mountain again.  I believe that.  I believe CNG is the future and I believe in Chesapeake.  That's why I work there.  Because I believe.
It has taken me a few months but I now have a cache of CNG stations saved in my GPS device.  The good news is that I will have logged close to 3,500 miles this month in my CNG Silverado in five states.  I have been able to go the entire month without purchasing any gasoline. That rocks!
In my opinion:
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) is a proven very safe, clean, abundant, domestic, affordable fuel source for cars that is currently used in over 13,000,000 vehicles world wide.  Pakistan and Iran have about 5 million CNG vehicles on the road while America has less than 115,000.  Why so few in the U.S. you may ask!
A car has never had higher emissions after being converted from gasoline or diesel to CNG because natural gas is cleaner than any other fossil fuel.   Yet the EPA makes using CNG unaffordable / a bad investment.
The EPA and other government rules and certification requirements more than double the cost to convert an American car that would provide cleaner air than when the car was EPA approved for gasoline every time.  These unnecessary government intervention make converting to CNG confusing, unaffordable, undesirable plus fear of retaliation if you do not use EPA certified kits.
The EPA requires certification for every engine, model year, vehicle type, every year.  The cost to certify exceeds $250,000 for each engine.  This cost has to be passed on to the consumer.  (you & me)  The EPA does NOT do this for a better environment, but because “yes, they can”.  This is why a new Honda Civic CNG car costs over $7,000 more than the gasoline version.  Note, in high volume, it should be duel fuel, and cost maybe $1,000 - $2,000 more which most people would have a payback of about a year from cheaper fuel / expenses.
For eight years in a row the Civic GX has been rated first in the "Greenest Vehicle of the Year" list elaborated by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. For 2011 The GX classified ahead of the two recently launched plug-in electric vehicles, the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt.  YES, a CNG car runs cleaner than an electric car!!!
Obama and his crew loaned billions of American taxpayer dollars to green energy companies that resulted in zero American jobs.  Examples: solar panels - Solyndra $535 million, & electric cars in Finland - Fisker Automotive $529 million.  Loans that will never be re-paid to the American people, money down the crapper.  And this is the tip of the iceberg.
IF the above $1,064,000,000 had been spent to convert the school buses in places like Ohio and Pennsylvania to CNG, plus open public CNG re-fueling stations in each city, and drop all EPA certification & other unnecessary costs for the CNG portion on all engines there would have been thousands of American jobs created, the air would be cleaner, schools would have more money to spend on kids education, less foreign oil would be needed, regular people like you and me would have freedom of choice and many of us would get a CNG or duel fuel car or truck. 
Seeing more and more stations coming online my hope is that this will continue to snowball into a full infrastructure for the US.
Anyone know where to purchase a home fill station?  Tom:
We just purchased our second CNG Honda GX.  Eskridge Honda in Oklahoma City has three left.  Two with NAV and one without.  The 2012 is a much nicer car than the 2009.  Both are good, but the newer one just runs better.  We got our latest one from Nathan Brookman @ (405) 222-6961.  We have also located a company in Mustang, Oklahoma that can convert Ford Expeditions.  That is our next acquisition.
Wanted: a CNG fueling station company that wants to dominate the market in the OH-PA-WV Marcellus/Utica shale gas region. The raw material supply is already here, but we need to build the fueling station infrastructure to get CNG into every truck, bus, fleet vehicle, and car in this region. Companies will not convert their fleets until they see a reliable supply to keep their vehicles running.

As a Commercial Realtor with Howard Hanna, the dominant real estate firm in this region, my team can get the prime locations in this market. If you want this territory, contact me.
What's the relationship between hub prices verses pump prices?  Right now we are seeing historic lows near $2 mcf at hubs and $1.50 gallon equivalents averages at stations.  Does $4 mcf at hubs mean $3 gallon equivalents? 
You could certainly see your expertise in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.
Dan Sabos Sabos (Fridas)
 These unnecessary government intervention make converting to CNG confusing, unaffordable, undesirable plus fear of retaliation if you do not use EPA certified kits.