CNG, or Compressed Natural Gas, seems to be well on its way to becoming a fairly popular kind of fuel. And with large automakers like Ford and General Motors offering CNG prep kits from the factory on some of their most popular models, getting a vehicle upfitted to run on the fuel isn’t as difficult of a task as was just a few years ago.
For the uninitiated, CNG is mainly composed of methane. It is stored and distributed in hard containers at a pressure of approximately 3,600 psi.
But why run a CNG vehicle in the first place? Here are some of the biggest reasons.
Lower Operating Costs
Operating a CNG vehicle can cost as low as one third that of conventional vehicles, with typical fuel savings covering the cost of a CNG conversion within three years. What’s more, customers can accelerate the payback period by taking advantage of a growing number of incentives issued by individual states.
To note, CNG conversions can run in the vicinity of $6,000-$8,000.
Stable Fuel Prices
Fleet managers and budget planners will appreciate the fact that CNG conversions can provide stability against fluctuating fuel prices. CNG sells for a national average $2.11 per gallon of gasoline equivalent, and is as low as $1 in parts of the country. By comparison, the national average for unleaded regular gas is $3.67 per gallon.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency certifies that CNG usage can result in up to 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. So, not only is it cheaper than a comparable fossil fuel, it’s also better for the environment.
Made In America
About 85 percent of the CNG used in the United States is produced domestically.
Greater Total Range
Most CNG upfits add a CNG tank while leaving the already-existing gasoline tank in place. This allows the vehicle to run on CNG and on gasoline once the CNG tank is depleted, effectively doubling the vehicle’s total driving range. The result is more driving, and less frequent fuel stops.
Do these five key reasons pique your interest in running a vehicle on CNG? Are you planning on upfitting your vehicle?