Energy Solutions, Inc., Analyzes Natural Gas Vehicle Demand and Infrastructure Requirements
The combination of a domestic surplus of natural gas and the rising cost of unleaded gasoline is leading to increased talk of natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Dedicated NGVs are designed to run only on natural gas, which means they require special refueling stations. The type of refueling stations needed depends on which type of natural gas used is used to fuel the NGVs; there is a choice between Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG).
Fuel costs for NGVs are often cheaper than conventional vehicles. Although the initial investment, in the form of the purchase price, is higher for NGVs, in the long run, when calculating fuel costs into the total equation, NGVs end up being the less expensive option. As such, this new technology has piqued the interest of the entire nation, and rides on the heels of President Obama’s National Community Deployment Challenge to accelerate the development and use of natural gas, electric, and other alternative-fuel vehicles. President Obama also is proposing a new tax incentive for commercial trucks that provides a credit for 50 percent of the incremental cost of a dedicated alternative-fuel truck, including trucks powered by natural gas or electricity.
Recently, Clean Energy Fuels Corp. said it plans to pour extra capital into a highway network of LNG and CNG fueling stations along major trucking corridors throughout the U.S. Additionally, Chesapeake Energy Corp. and General Electric (GE) recently unveiled their new CNG In A Box™ natural gas fueling system to be released later this year at 250 sites. CNG In A Box™ is a fully integrated CNG fueling system that offers cost-effective plug and play simplicity for fleet and retail fueling stations seeking to offer CNG fuel.
Other natural gas producers, including Encana, Southwestern Co., and Questar, are making investments into the nation’s NGV infrastructure. Chrysler Group announced plans to become North America’s first manufacturer to offer a factory-built CNG pickup truck, and General Motors is planning to release a new CNG vehicle as well.
Valerie Wood, President of Energy Solutions, Inc., expressed her optimism in these new advancements, despite the U.S.’s lag behind other countries. “While this is progress, the U.S. is still behind the rest of the globe. Since 2000, the average growth rate for NGVs in the U.S. has averaged 4.7 percent per year. By comparison, the global growth rate for the same timeframe has been closer to 30 percent per year.”
Still, advancements are happening. To view a list of LNG and CNG refueling stations near you, visit the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels & Advanced Vehicles Data Center at http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/.
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About Energy Solutions, Inc.
Formed in 1996, Energy Solutions, Inc. is independently owned. With more than 50 years of experience in the natural gas industry, our team focuses on natural gas prices and in helping businesses improve their internal processes for the purchase of natural gas.