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Natural Gas fueled vehicles

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
edited April 13 in Honda
Discuss natural gas fueled vehicles here.
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Comments

  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    I stand corrected Well_Informed. I was not up on the Natural Gas reserves around the world. I read and article when we built the base in Qatar that they were sitting on the world's largest known reserve. We also agree on diesel being the most efficient use of our natural resources. I would love to have an MB E320 CDI. Again CARB's shortsightedness is blocking all small diesels. Even with ULSD I don't believe they will change their view of small Diesel vehicles.
    AS for the LNG/CNG debate. I think they can build ports and LNG terminals in more remote areas and pipe the natural gas to the markets. I am not sure how much more it adds to the cost. I know Alaska was shipping gas to Korea for a while during the 1970s. Not sure if that operation is still going or not. At least if we use natural gas for city buses and delivery trucks it will help improve our air quality. What caught my attention with the Civic CNG was the $423 for 15k miles in a year. It is hard to imagine a more economical environmentally sound vehicle.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    I was out running errands this morning and parked next to a Honda Civic NG. The owner loves it, says it has been very reliable. The biggest issue of course is not being able to pull into any old gas station on a long trip. The fill-up points require planning.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    What city are you in? The fill-up points was the main reason I did not put CNG into my full size Chevy PU back in 1996.
  • I was out running errands this morning and parked next to a Honda Civic NG. The owner loves it, says it has been very reliable. The biggest issue of course is not being able to pull into any old gas station on a long trip. The fill-up points require planning.

    I'd believe that. Since CNG is a far cleaner fuel than gasoline, an extra advantage of the CNG Civic over the already high-reliability Gas Civic, is that it will be extremely reliable and require far less maintenance, have less wear and tear etc.

    One solution to the trunk space problem is to make it a station wagon, preferably a tall station wagon with a high driving position, since this is the reason SUVs are so popular.

    Then you still have an economy car, easy to park, and can still take 5 people and their stuff on a trip.

    and when you have a bigger trunk, and even a double floor (like the Merc A-class), youc an store extra fuel, so the range can go to a more palatable 350-400 miles, so one can buy it as a family car.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    Northern CA - north of San Fran
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    I think it is even better suited to a PU truck. It will take up some bed space. I noticed this morning on Interstate 8 in San Diego. A sign saying Natural Gas next exit. Maybe I will buy one of the trucks set up to run both. You can switch over to unleaded if you get low on CNG with no place to fill-up. It makes more sense than Hydrogen fuel cells. Does anyone know how much Natural Gas it takes to generate a KWH in a fuel cell?
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    "One solution to the trunk space problem is to make it a station wagon, preferably a tall station wagon with a high driving position, since this is the reason SUVs are so popular."

    Hmmm, seems like the Honda CR-V would be a good choice; it has a large wheel space under the rear deck (would fit a limited use spare). We call it the "ice chest" because it will hold water. If they combined this space with the stock tank, it would probablly have enough range...
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    I think the only thing holding back CNG cars is fueling stations. Also the tank is big for a given range. I think the CRV would be a good choice. The Civic GX is cleaner burning than the Prius according to the EPA. And the price of fuel is like equivalent to $.90 a gallon. I almost converted my old Chevy PU.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,863
    I don't know, when I fill up my tank for the barbeque, it runs about 1.59 a gallon... which is still cheaper than gasoline.

    I think that one could go cross country on LNG, but would have to plan carefully. Out here in the west, there are lots of LNG companies, since many rural homes use it for fuel. In the big cities, at least here in LA, there are numerous places with LNG.
  • SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
    The biggest challenges to going with a hydrogen or LNG powered-vehicle country is the infrastructure of providing places to fill-up.

    When the country made the shift from regular leaded gas to unleaded gasoline this was an issue. It took years to move the country and stations to this. I remember my Dad driving his '62 Caddy and on long road trips in the late '70's had to plan where to stop and get gas.
  • I have been researching with very limited success the possibility of converting a Ford Sport Trac to CNG/LNG/Dual Fuel use in Northern Virginia. I would use it mostly for commuting to and fro from Washington DC. In my search I found a story on an adaptor for home filling from your Natural Gas that supplies your house. It is a special adaptor that allows the NG to be compressed into your vehicle tank.

    Would love to know if anyone has heard or knows of companies that specialize in the engine conversions in my area
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    CNG is a great fuel. It has it's down sides also. The tank and conversion is expensive. You have to be very careful not to damage the tank, which needs periodic inspection. There are many taxi
    cabs in San Diego that run on it and several places to refill. I would imagine the same is true for Washington DC area. Here is a list of companies that do the conversion. Good luck

    http://www.gmu.edu/departments/caeps/CNGsources.htm
  • Thanks for the information, I have sent for the particulars on costs/benefits to do my truck as a bi-fuel vehicle. Seems like CNG allows for that where LNG is too fussy because of the cold temps it requires as well as LNG being more dangerous because of the super cold temps.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Pennsylvania’s CATA Completes Bus Fleet Conversion to CNG

    http://www.greencarcongress.com
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,085
    I live in State College, Pa and the same story was in our local paper. To be honest, I thought the bus fleet was already 100% CNG powered. I can't recall the last time I saw one of the CATA buses that wasn't!

    MODERATOR
    Need some roadside assistance? pf_flyer@edmunds.com - or send a private message by clicking on my name.
    Share your vehicle reviews

  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    Atlanta's transit is MARTA, the busses here were converted to natural gas a long time ago.
    Sure makes a big difference as compared to the old diesel or gasoline units.

    Post #2 quotes "$423 for 15k miles"
    If that figure reflects recent NG prices, it is simply fantastic.

    My HCH isn't doing quite that, based on today's $1.95/Gallon:
    15,000 miles / 60MPG = 250 Gallons of gas.
    250 * $1.95 (Today's gasoline price)
    I'll pay about $475 for 15K miles in my hybrid.

    The main problem as mentioned is delivery. Finding a station that sells diesel is hard enough, but my whole city doesn't even have a a NG line, we're all on heat pumps for our homes. As far as I know, I'd have to commute 50 miles into Atlanta just to fuel my car with NG.

    I'm still hoping for fuel cell automobiles, perhaps the fuel can be delivered by truck, and not have to flow through a pipe. Truck would be least expensive in rural areas without laying a pipe.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Nat-gas (Methane:Formula CH4) is the simplest of all HydroCarbons.
    Its worldwide reserves are equal to Crude Oil Reserves which means there is any much CNG as Propane + Gasoline + Diesel put together.
    It makes sense to make a big move to Nat-gas once the technical constraints are overcome.

    However Hydrogen is the simplest of all Elements.

    However Electricity is the simplest of all Energy Sources (along with Heat & Light).

    Investing in all 3 is better answer to todays high Oil Prices.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    If you are considering the Civic GX, cleanest car that CARB ever tested. You may want to contact this company. You can fuel your CNG car in your garage and have a 200 mile range. Price $3400 plus installation, available today. It will save you money, not sure exactly how much. Need more research.

    http://www.myphill.com/
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    No free lunches.....to drive "the cleanest internal combustion engine in the world" you will pay an even higher "price premium" than the Civic Hybrid:

    "Q: How much does the 2005 Civic GX cost?
    A: The GX has an incremental price of $4,500 (MSRP), more than the base price of a conventional gasoline-powered Civic. But there are often tax credits, incentives, access to HOV lanes and/or other benefits to help offset the incremental cost."

    More on this page:

    http://automobiles.honda.com/models/faqs.asp?ModelName=Civic+GX

    So, in summary, the Civic GX is cleaner than a Civic Hybrid (as long as you are comparing PZEV vs PZEV) but it costs more per mile than the Civic Hybrid (.55 vs .42) and it's range is limited and it's "home-based refueling" system is very time consuming (assuming you can even GET CNG piped to your home, which I personally cannot) and the CNG fuel stations are few and far between, and the idea that you can even BUY ONE outside of fleet sales is still up for question.

    Seems like the CNG solution is WAY more trouble than the Hybrid and only slightly more "ready for prime time" than the Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

    Clean though, no doubt. !!!!!!!
  • http://www.greenercars.org "green score":

    Civic CNG = 57/100
    Civic Hybrid = 51/100

    CNG is cleaner, but it's not a signifigant amount. I wouldn't pay an extra $4500 for it.

    Troy
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    assuming you can even GET CNG piped to your home, which I personally cannot

    If you don't have natural gas at your home you are out of luck. The actual cost per mile is less than for a hybrid according to the EPA. However if you are buying from a refueling station they may jack up the price to stay even with gasoline. Yes the hybrid is a simpler solution. The hybrid is also a much more complex solution, with many more unknown costs after the warranty is up. I personally think the dual fuel is a better alternative. I tried to get my 1993 Chevy 3/4 ton PU converted to CNG. The company I was working with went out of business. The home refueling systems were about $8k at the time so that has come down a lot. The conversion to CNG/gas was about $5k.
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    Count me out.
    I'd be refueling every other day. :(
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    You would be the real winner with CNG. Unless you work day & night the car refuels over night. ready to go in the morning with enough gas for 200 miles. If you get 50 MPG with the HCH you would probably get 36 MPG plus with the GX and the fuel is about half the price of regular gas. Natural gas is not tied to the price of oil like gasoline is. Half as many oil changes. NO batteries or paraphenelia to worry over.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Civic-GX is meant only for those in state like California or even better in countries like Argentina, Brazil, Pakistan, Italy who have an extensive network of CNG stations. May be if phill is cheaper to buy and install and can get the ROI, more people in USA will be interested.

    A Bi-fuel which can go another 200 miles on Gasoline will boost the sales like the Hybrids do. Let us see how the Civic-2006 goes, since it may have a 5-door GX which offers lot of trunk space.
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    Be careful giving advice to people regarding how much savings they might have when switching to an alternate fuel....NO fuel is completely stable priced.

    Actually CNG is more expensive than gas in some places.

    "When the station at 1100 S. Sherman opened, natural gas cost about 80 cents for the amount equivalent to a gallon of gasoline. Gasoline cost about $1.29 a gallon. Today, the price for CNG is $1.70 and the city is paying about $1.60 a gallon for gasoline."

    From this story:

    http://www.longmontfyi.com/Local-Story.asp?id=863
  • larsblarsb Posts: 8,204
    VERY COOL development:

    "Playing With Frozen Fire By Stephen Leahy
    02:00 AM Mar. 17, 2005 PT

    More energy is trapped under the sea as frozen natural gas than is stored in all the world's oil reserves -- and researchers this week took a step toward tapping it.

    Vast reserves of methane hydrates -- a form of natural gas -- could power the world for decades to come. But mining the deep, frozen deposits presents an enormous technical challenge.

    An estimated 200,000 trillion cubic feet of methane hydrates exists under the sea, and the Department of Energy has a major research program under way that could result in commercial production starting by 2015. "

    http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,66925,00.html/wn_ascii
  • mistermemisterme Posts: 407
    Larry,
    I've heard that report too.
    Now, if they can only get more miles to the NG tank.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    http://www.greencarcongress.com

    Sharjah emirate in UAE (like Scotland in UK) plans to convert all their buses to CNG. Its possible there as its population is very small. If they suceed, other emirates may follow and finally smaller countries like Singapore, Mauritius, etc.

    Some take CNG route and others take LNG route.

    According to Wall Street Journal, Qatar plans to buy 70 LNG tanker ships at a cost of $15 billion. Nat-gas use is surging like anything.
  • Natural gas is *still* a fossil fuel. All you've done is trade one limited resource (oil) for another (NG). You haven't really solved the problem.

    troy
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 29,173
    You haven't really solved the problem.

    I agree. I see the best solution as a modern diesel vehicle and migrate to using biodiesel as it becomes more readily available. Plus it is very FE compared to CNG or Ethanol.
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