The 21st century saw the birth of an alternative fuel vehicle, i.e., natural gas vehicle (NVG) that uses compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG), replacing the fossil fuels lately. About 12.7 million NVGs are running worldwide since the year 2010. These increasing figures of the NVGs encouraged the growth of many NVG refuelling stations. Starting from Brazil, Pakistan, Latin America even India has NVGs on the road.
In the attempt to make the earth go-green with the use of these NVGs, there are various set-backs as well. One should always have the knowledge about the pros-cons of the NVGs before owning one.
Flaw in the infrastructure
The Natural Gas Vehicles demand fuelling stations but hardly there are enough within reach. Though there are 1,100 stations in US but hardly half of them are made available to the public. A lot more NGV fuelling stations would be required to power a third of its vehicles. Thus, the infrastructure lags behind.
Natural gas is not perfect
The EPA chooses natural gas powered vehicles to be the cleanest with very low emission of carbon-dioxide and carbon-monoxide other non-methanic organic gases and green house gases. Although, the Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) is known to create low pollution and emit less greenhouse gases, it is not perfect; it is just a better option. 21.8 percent reduction of the emission of the gasses doesn’t help much if given a broader outlook.
Still, natural gas is again a fossil fuel
No doubt, the natural gas is much cleaner, but they are still hydrocarbons being taken out of the wells that are prone to limited supply again. though some countries have abundant supply, but the reserves are prone to extinction.
ACEE’s 12 greenest vehicle for 2011
ACEE, a non-profit organisation, released its 14th Annual Report this February with the 12 greenest cars for the year. Honda Civic GX manages to bag the top position followed by Nissan Leaf, Smart Fortwo Cabriolet and coupe, Toyota Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid, Honda Insight, Ford Fiesta SFE, Chevrolet Cruze Eco, Hyundai Elanta, Mini Cooper, Toyota Yaris and last but not the least Chevrolet Volt. The go green movement seemed to have been supported by automobile industries across the globe.
It’s our profit now
With the Gas prices touching the sky, the situation is as Cleantechnica says, “natural gas now costs about half as much per unit energy as gasoline and has an even greater cost advantage over diesel fuel.” But, this is just the talk for the time being. The reserves which are prone to extinction, will definitely make the prices rise sooner or later.
State and federal incentives
Under the Energy Policy Act of 1992 of the federal, Honda Civic GX now is made available with the reduction of price tag by several thousand dollars. This is a combined policy of both the state and local incentives that help the price tag lighten.
FuelMaker, a company started to meet the needs of the natural gas vehicles fuelling stations for home users. The product though of utmost importance for Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) owners, found no buyers. The device compresses natural gas from home gas lines and takes about four hours to fill an empty tank for a 50-mile drive. The price tag ranges from $5,500 to $6,000.
Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) are known to be highly profitable in terms of mileage, reduced pollution and even when CNGs corrode or wear off the engines lower as compared to other fossil fuels.
Several countries are equipped with kits to convert gasoline or diesel to LPG/CNG these days along with trained labour. But factory installed CNG vehicles are better in terms of both quality and reliability. Many countries where CNGs are abundant, the price of the CNG is lowered by the government.
The CNG transportation done by economical gas pipelines over land and road, but there is difficulty in doing so over long distances like oceans. Again, the storage is another problem but economic steel or composite containers are used to store these natural gases at very high pressure.
North American countries United States of America and Mexico, South American Countries, South Asian countries like Pakistan, even India, South East Asian Countries like Singapore, China, Thailand, Malaysia, etc. have put Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) or Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) into use. Natural Gas Vehicles are found almost in every countries. The government should give special attention to promote this Go-Green initiative.