Skip to comments.More natural gas vehicles hitting the market
Posted on 03/07/2012 5:42:45 AM PST by thackney
More natural gas-powered vehicles will hit the market soon, as rising gasoline prices, booming natural gas production and proposed tax credits make them a more attractive option. But theyre a long way from being a common sight in U.S. driveways.
Chrysler will sell a Ram 2500 Heavy Duty pickup that runs on compressed natural gas starting in July. The truck has both a gasoline tank and a natural gas storage tank, and its engine shifts seamlessly between the two power sources. The truck can run for 255 miles on natural gas and another 367 miles using gasoline.
Chrysler will have competition. Late this year, General Motors Co. will sell natural-gas versions of two pickups the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 2500 HD. The GM trucks will run on gasoline and natural gas for 650 miles. Ford Motor Co. has offered natural-gas ready pickups and vans since 2009.
There is more detail at link.
GE, Chesapeake to develop natural-gas fueling infrastructure
Link only due to Bloomberg Source
I admit ignorance of the mechanics of the subject, but how easy, hard, cheap, expensive is it to convert an existing gasoline engine to use natgas, butane, propane? It’s really the only viable alternative to gasoline and diesel that I see in the foreseeable future, but that’s JMO.
Found this in the article. Sounds like an outrageous cost to me. I gotta believe some good ol' boy shade tree mechanic has found a way to covert a vehicle at much less cost.
“I gotta believe some good ol’ boy shade tree mechanic has found a way to covert a vehicle at much less cost.”
Can probably do it at a South Texas machine shop for around 1000 bucks.
My cars exhaust system finally rotted out. Took it to my mechanic who wanted over 2k to replace and that was providing he could find some weld points.
Took it to a South Texas shop. 99 bucks for an entire exhaust system. Was out of there in 45 minutes.
Note the “up to” qualifier.
It is not going to cost more than a complete new diesel engine and fuel system.
I suspect their “up to” included going LNG on a city bus for example.
You can get more information on companies doing conversions of passenger vehicles from the links shown here:
Here in Oklahoma the cost for a conversion using new tanks is about $10,000. About 80% of the cost is the tanks and it usually takes 3 since the have to be small to handle up to 4,000 psi. Savings can be had by buying used tanks.
BTW Chesapeake is working with 3M to develop a larger less expensive tank.
Sounds like my local muffler shop. Around a thousand + or - a few hundred is more in line with what I would expect a conversion to cost. Glad I live in the South.
Thanks for the links. Will investigate.
Propane is a far easier fuel conversion than methane.
Propane is going to be stored in 250 psi tank.
Methane is going to be stored in 3,000~4,000 psi tank.
Also the fuel has much less energy density so significanty more fuel must be delivered to the engine for comparable horse power. The engine is going to require more cubic inches to get the same horsepower or work under significantly more pressure to get enough molecules of fuel/air compressed into the old cylinder size.
A friend actually had a set-up similar to what you’re talking about on his Chevy pickup. Ran good. Another plus for LNG is they burn very clean. Can easily get 100,000mi. out of a set of plugs. I’ve had mechanics tell me that you can tear down an engine that’s been running LNG and it looks like new, burns really clean. Not all the pollution of a gasoline engine. Can go longer between oil changes too.
IIRC, these conversions ran $1,800 - $2,000 back in the late 1970s when Popular Mechanics and Hot Rod magazines did articles on them (as alternatives to the poor-quality gasoline). I think they even did charts showing how long the fuel cost savings would take to "pay for" the conversion work.
Good company to watch with stock at about $40 a share yesterday. They signed a big deal with Cummins and have systems to work with heavy equipment.
A lot of people run a propane diesel mix to increase the power without increasing the size of the engine.
A lot of hotshot drivers will do it so they can pull a bigger load.
It also used to be common to see it on rice field tractors only then I think they mostly used butane diesel mix.
The Westport WiNG Power System carries an industry-leading starting price point of $9,750. On average, the Westport WiNG powered Ford pickups are expected to save fleets upwards of $2 per gallon in fuel costs, and depending on miles driven, can demonstrate a payback in about two years or less.
The Ford F-250 and F-350 pickups with the bi-fuel, Westport WiNG Power System have undergone the same rigorous original equipment manufacturer (OEM) testing for safety and durability used by Ford for their gasoline and diesel products. Engineered at the new Westport technical center in Plymouth Michigan, WiNG Power Systems will be installed at the Westport manufacturing facility adjacent to the Ford Kentucky Truck Plant, in Louisville. The trucks will be ready to roll when they reach authorized Ford dealers and the installation will add less than 72 hours to the entire order cycle for a new truck. The 2012 models with Westport WiNG bi-fuel Systems sold through Ford dealers will be EPA certified, and the 2013 Model Year are expected to offer CARB certification for all models.
Nat-gas powered taxis in Tokyo have been around for a long time.
I believe you are talking about LPG (propane) conversions, not Natural Gas (methane).
Thanks for that link and info
base price conversion for F250/350 truck:
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