CNG vehicles roll out clean, green ride

CNG, compressed natural gas, is the best alternative to gasoline, electric or hydrogen.
I will make a bold statement, a CNG vehicle is the cleanest, least carbon foot print of any fuel power vehicle in the world. I say fuel powered to eliminate a human powered vehicle.
The reason are vast, yes, an electric vehicle has less tail pipe emissions then a CNG vehicle but to produce and transport electricity, electric vehicles will has a larger carbon footprint then a CNG vehicle.
Don’t even get me started about converting electric to separate water into hydrogen and then all the difficulties in storage of hydrogen. It takes about 3 gallons of to get the energy of 1 gallon of gasoline. In my opinion for the past 15 years, hydrogen powered vehicles are a bad idea!
The first thing that needs to be established is the difference between energy source and energy storage.
Gasoline, natural gas and solar are energy sources while electric batteries, compressed air and hydrogen are just a storage medium. That is, the energy goes into these three before they are put into a vehicle. (If you want to get real technical, the first three are really just energy from the sun but I’m not going there.)
CNG has advantages, low carbon foot print and as of now, the US has more natural gas that we know what to do with. The price is cheaper than gasoline. It burns so very clean, the engines should last longer than gasoline or diesel.
There are down sides. First, very few fueling stations, the infrastructure is sparse.
The second is CNG takes more space than then gasoline for the same amount of energy. That would mean bigger fuel tanks.
The third is minor, a fill up would take longer than a gasoline fill up,
Eugene should get its first CNG public filling station in the next nine months according to reliable sources.
Honda has made a CNG Civic for years, GM will offer a bi-fuel Chevrolet Silverado and
GMC Sierra 2500 pickups in the fourth quarter, Chrysler Group LLC reports that it will produce a promising to build at least 2,000 heavy-duty Ram bi-fuel trucks that run on a combination of compressed natural gas and gasoline, Ford has been offering CNG prep kits for about a half-dozen vehicles, including the Transit Connect, since 2009. It will expand the offering to its large Ford 650 pickup truck in the third quarter of this year.
There is a big move to make and convert 18 wheelers to CNG too.
We will see where the future brings us, I’m excited to see if this holds true.

- George Rode

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