America’s got gas. Why aren’t we driving more natural gas vehicles?
There was a great article today on Jalopnik.com titled “Why Aren’t We Driving More Natural Gas Cars?” Domestic natural gas production is at an all-time high. The price for a gallon-equivalent of natural gas is at an all-time low. So, what’s the big deal? Why can’t we be like Iran, Pakistan and Argentina, which are the world’s largest CNG users. Even Italy, which the article points out is better known for race cars, high-fashion and political scandals has more natural gas vehicles on the road than the US.
A lot of it has to do with the entrenched oil industry. A lot of it has to do with questions about the safety and environmental impact of drilling for natural gas. Automakers have to provide more natural gas and bi-fuel options. And ultimately, a lot of infrastructure has to be built so that consumers will have easy access to natural gas re-fueling options. You can’t have a natural gas vehicle if there is no place for you to conveniently fill it up.
Companies who own fleets have seen the benefits of conversion to CNG. The waste-management industry, bus fleets, and large private fleets all have case-study examples of cost-savings, fuel efficiency and reduced environmental impact. Companies like Clean Energy are making more re-fueling infrastructure available all the time. Manufacturers plan to produce more CNG-powered cars. So hopefully, it will just be a matter of time before the rest of America will be able to enjoy the benefits of an energy source that is right beneath our feet.