Natural Gas and Renewable Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV)
Includes Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG)
Natural gas vehicles are a cleaner and efficient alternative to gasoline and diesel vehicles. Currently they are used in industrial urban fleet applications such as light, medium and heavy-duty delivery trucks, taxis, courier services, shuttles, buses, refuse haulers, large class 8 freight and drayage trucks. The Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach offer incentives for fleet owners to replace older trucks with newer, cleaner trucks.
The Honda Civic GX is the one commercially available CNG-powered passenger car available in the U.S. and gets a competitive 32 miles per equivalent gallon of gasoline. Other manufacturers are planning to produce natural gas vehicles in the near term.
While conventional natural gas is not considered a renewable fuel, biomethane, or renewable natural gas, can be produced from organic material found in dairies, landfills, and wastewater treatment facilities, leading to GHG emission reductions of up to 85%!
Additional benefits of NGVs are:
- There is a bountiful supply of domestic natural gas in North America accessible to California.
- Natural gas is the cleanest burning of all fossil fuels
- There are currently about 132 natural gas fueling stations in California, although consumers can purchase a “slow fill” system for at-home, overnight fueling.
- NGVs contribute significant reductions in greenhouse gas: 30% less carbon dioxide and 97% less carbon monoxide than gasoline
- The cost is about half that of gasoline or diesel
- The potential is good to significantly reduce dependence upon petroleum leading to potential reduction in the annual trade deficit
- There is a high differential cost of natural gas vehicles
- Onboard fuel tanks in vehicles take up valuable storage space.
- Concerns about groundwater contamination and the improper treatment of the fluids used in the hydraulic fracturing process of extracting natural gas from shale deposits
How is the Energy Commission Helping?
The Energy Commission has awarded more than $16 million for developing and deploying heavy duty natural gas trucks and installation and upgrades to a wide assortment of fueling stations.
These projects will continue to be funded through the 2011-12 investment allocations with additional emphasis placed on incorporating the introduction of biomethane from anaerobically digested waste-based biomass feedstocks into the production of fuels.