Natural Gas Vehicles
Natural gas powers about 150,000 vehicles in the United States and roughly 15.2 million vehicles worldwide. Natural gas vehicles (NGVs), which can run on compressed natural gas (CNG), are good choices for high-mileage, centrally-fueled fleets that operate within a limited area. Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is best suited for long haul heavy-duty vehicles.
There are three types of Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs):
Dedicated: These vehicles are designed to run only on natural gas.
Bi-fuel: These vehicles have two separate fueling systems that enable them to run on either natural gas or gasoline.
Dual-fuel: These vehicles are traditionally limited to heavy-duty applications, have fuel systems that run on natural gas, and use diesel fuel for ignition assistance.
There are a growing, number of light- and heavy-duty natural gas vehicles (NGVs) available from original equipment manufacturers (OEM). Additionally, qualified system retrofitters can covert many light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles to run on natural gas.
Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM) NGVs:
Conversions of original equipment manufacturer (OEM) vehicles to operate on propane, natural gas, methane gas, ethanol, or electricity are classified as aftermarket alternative fuel vehicle conversions. In the United States, all vehicle conversions (except pure battery electric vehicles) must meet current applicable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. EPA instituted these standards to assure unimpaired emission control of motor vehicles throughout their useful life. Vehicles operating in California must follow conversion rules issued by the California Air Resources Board (CARB).
The cost of converting a new vehicle ranges from $12,000-$18,000 (2011), and includes the retrofit system, fuel tanks and related tubing/brackets, and the installation. Tank technology and desired fuel capacity are significant cost factors for a conversion system.
Certified Service Facilities
AGA Systems Inc.
Lancer Automotive Group
ARES Transportation Technologies
Guy's Automaster Inc.
Natural Gas Fueling Stations
High-pressure tanks that hold CNG require periodic inspection and certification by a licensed inspector. Find a certified cylinder inspector on the CSA - International Web site
CNG is a safe and reliable fuel option. However, to insure the integrity of a CNG system a trained professional is needed to install the equipment safely and properly. If installed incorrectly, the tanks could abrade over time – leading to a tank failure. If you wish to convert your fleet or vehicle to natural gas, these systems need to be installed by someone trained and certified in high-pressure gas systems – including high pressure tanks. Conversions should also be done according to the National Fire Protection Association's Vehicular Fuel Systems Code (NFPA 52).
There are national safety standards for equipment (NGV2 for tanks and NGV3 for on-board equipment), and federal law requires that conversion systems being installed must meet EPA standards (which insure your vehicle emissions are lower).These standards are in place for your health and safety, and the health and the safety of the public. Unsafe, poor quality equipment (and even used equipment sold as new) is available for sale around the world. In these cases you get what you pay for - is it worth it?
The U.S. NGV industry is very proud of their safety record. Help maintain that record, by doing your part. For more information on this critical issue visit SafeNGV.org
UCCC Natural Gas Fuel Page
UCCC Expired CNG Tanks Page
Alternative Fuels Data Center - NGV
U.S. Dept. of Energy - EERE - Vehicles
Natural Gas Vehicle Information - Questar Gas
FuelEconomy.Gov - Natural Gas
Natural Gas Vehicle Institute
Natural Gas Vehicles for America
International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles
Resources referenced on this website are presented for informational purposes only,
UCCC does not necessarily recommend or endorse these entities.