The Pros and Cons of Natural Gas Vehicles

From Fox Business

By Marcia Passos Duffy

Clean. Abundant. Cheap. Domestic. What’s not to like about natural gas? So why not use it to power a car?

Most Americans think of natural gas as a fuel source to heat their homes or run their clothes dryers or stoves. But natural-gas cars have been zipping around foreign highways for decades. According to the industry group NGV Global, there are more than 15.2 million natural-gas vehicles on the road worldwide.

However, natural gas has been slow to gain traction in U.S. passenger vehicles. Nationwide, there are only 120,000 natural-gas vehicles, or NGVs.

Game Changers

The recent discoveries of massive natural-gas reserves in the U.S. may be a game changer, says Rich Kolodziej, president of Washington, D.C.-based Natural Gas Vehicles for America, or NGVAmerica, a trade association for the natural-gas vehicle industry.

NGVs could help to break the U.S. free of dependence on foreign oil, Kolodziej says. They are also better for the environment. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, NGVs pave the potential to emit 25 percent less greenhouse gases than diesel-powered vehicles.

Best of all, natural gas is cheaper — $1.50 to $2 less per gasoline gallon equivalent, according to NGVAmerica.

Those significant savings have not gone unnoticed by businesses and municipalities.

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