Natural gas vehicles (NGV)

Today I write about NGV or “natural gas vehicles”. I have always been fascinated by cars and engines. When I was attending Cal Poly in the 1990s, I chose natural gas vehicles as the subject of my senior project. I took my little Toyota pickup and converted it to run on natural gas. I was able to do the conversion myself and drove the truck until I sold it. I really enjoyed it because the fuel was cheap and it burns much cleaner and I have been following the topic ever since.

About ten years ago I drove a Honda Civic that ran exclusively on natural gas and had another great benefit. You could drive in the carpool lane. I was going to and from Irvine, saving me about an hour of driving a day.

What is a natural gas car?

Basically it’s like a normal gasoline car … it has the same type of engine and when you drive it it feels like a normal car. But … instead of running on gasoline, it runs on the same gas that comes out of your stove. In fact, you could install a filling pump at home and fill it at home! You could never need to go to the gas station. But if you didn’t have the domestic fueling system, then you would need to find a natural gas service station close to your home or work. It takes a little more planning because the last thing you want to do is run out of fuel. If it does, it must be towed to the station.

Let me tell you 4 good reasons to drive a natural gas vehicle:

  1. For me, the biggest advantage of driving a NGV would be the price of fuel. That’s because I’m stingy. Right now, a gallon gas equivalent (GGE) is $ 2.44. In reality, NGVs require fewer oil changes and spark plugs and engine parts last longer because gas burns cleaner. Again, if you’re stingy like me, you like low maintenance.

  2. They pollute much less than a gasoline car. Natural gas vehicles emit 13 to 21 percent fewer GHG emissions than comparable gasoline and diesel vehicles. If you are a fan of Al Gore then you will like them. A NGV has higher emissions than an electric car, but electric cars have lithium-ion batteries that will eventually go bad. Battery replacement is around $ 5000. For the most part, we really don’t know how long they last. It may need to be replaced once or twice during the life of the car and we really don’t know how much of an impact it will have on landfills.

  3. Support the American economy. Gasoline comes from oil. The United States imports 9 billion gallons of oil a day !!! That is about $ 17 billion per day. I don’t know if everyone is aware of this, but we have all the energy we need right here at home in the form of natural gas and our vehicles will run very well on natural gas.

  4. You can drive only in the carpool lane.

In conclusion

I hope that with this short article you will know a little more about natural gas vehicles.

  • Save money on fuel and maintenance (no batteries to worry about)

  • They pollute much less: transportation accounts for 27% of our greenhouse gas emissions, so this is a good way to reduce global warming.

  • It’s good for the American economy: we can depend less on the Middle East and we can produce our own power for our cars.

  • You can drive in the carpool lane on your own

For whatever reason, the United States is lagging behind the rest of the world. I would love for the United States to start using natural gas instead of gasoline. Maybe you can consider it now, especially when prices start to rise at the pump.

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