Just a thought, since we do have so much natural gas, why hasn’t someone built a car that will run on it and set up filling stations for them? Probably a stupid question, but I wouldn’t mind seeing gasoline dropping down to about a $1 a gallon. I can remember when it was .25 cents per gallon and sometimes cheaper than that. Anyone else remember Gas wars before they outlawed them?
When I was in high school I was paying 13.9 cents/gal. for premium.
It only rose to 26.9 until 1974.
Civic Natural Gas
Yep I do remember gas wars. I remember gas at less than $1 per gallon. I also remember propane tanks conversions for cars when gasoline got too expensive.
I am thinking that natural gas is not readily available. It usually comes directly into the house doesn’t it? Propane is delivered and stored in tanks at peoples homes, and sold in tanks for bbq grills etc. So it didn’t take long for conversion kits to come along using propane back then.
Not sure how you could get natural gas, even if there was a conversion kit.
I think that an E85 conversion kit exits that will allow a car to run on 100% ethanol to 100% gasoline, and any mixture in between. If the government would permit it, people could make their own ethanol to run the car out of corn or other biomass.
It’s the same process as making moonshine, basically. However, government doesn’t want people to be able to be self-sufficient, they want them to have to buy fuel for cars, and booze to drink.
It was done in the 70s as a response to the oil crises. Turns out it only works for fleet vehicles working a set radius or route. And it’s still used that way (with some shortcomings) for fleets all over the US.
However - after a number of ‘genius’ individuals blew up entire city blocks trying to rig up home filling stations and a number of cars were involved in incidents that killed everyone in a 100’ radius because of tank ruptures and improper maintenance, it was filed away as a bad idea for the vehicle population as a whole.
I saw a natural gas filling station in Utah.
They are starting to be built. In one particular instance I just saw the other day, they are about to complete a new NG filling island with several stations at a Fleet fueling station that has been there for several years servicing gas and diesel for commercial fleet accounts.
It does not technically require much as many forklifts in the early 80’s were converted to propane from gasoline as a means to cut the fumes in warehouses. I recall they ran a little cooler as well.
They have them and are building them with NO help from the goobermint. IF Obama told the truth about trying to achieve energy independence we would already have this on every highway. The markets are building them as fast as money allows. Look up Westport Innovations and Clean Energy stock symbols WPRT and CLNE.
* Gobs of approved conversion companies out their like Roush, it is expensive.
* Their is an apporved home refuel device called the "Phil", but it is like $4000.
* I read over on GreenCarCongress of a research project of a free piston electric driven pump to fill your car that would have a $500 price point if gone commercial, that would be a game changer.
* With the EPA being so anal with emissions they forced the big 6 into things like direct injection in conjunction with turbocharging. With that said supplanting a Gaseous Injector in place of the Gasoline would allow even higher turbo-boost or compression ratios given the fuels octane for a series of win-wins.
* With that said, I can't see how they stop that at some-point, smaller engines, more power, cleaner.
Also Good Westport (LPG injectors etc), and Pilot Fuels 150 filling stations for LPG for Trucks. IMHO their is a gaseous fuel revolution coming, the question is does Commander Oboingo stop it....
I thought the same thing. I checked out the cost of conversion kits and I found prices around 4-5K a car which seemed rather high.
NG is a decent fuel, but your range is shorter and you are driving around with a large pressurized tank.
When I was working in New Mexico, you would see some NG trucks. The locals used them for shorter trips, and had a newer gas car for longer ones.
Sure do. Didn't know they were outlawed. They were frequent in San Diego in the mid-fifties. And gas dropped to under 20c/gallon on occasion: A boon for high school students who could put a buck's worth into the jalopy and be cruisin' for a few days. They don't call them "the good old days" for nothing.
LNG trucks and CNG cars & trucks are on the way.
Ford has a lineup of pickups (CNG); Honda has a CNG car; GE has just come out with a fueling system/pump for CNG. GM has CNG trucks.
Chesapeake is supplying the CNG for GE. Ford has just contracted with GE to make available the GE (CNG in a box) system to fleet CNG buyers.
Clean energy is creating a transnational CNG/LNG interstate corridor of fueling stations. Westport Innovations has fueling systems/engines that use CNG and partnerships with Ford,GM VOlvo, CAT, others. So CNG/LNG engines can be offered as original equipment.
Natural gas is on the way...2013 will be a huge year for the uptake of nat gas as a transportation fuel.
It may be geography-dependent, but here in NE ohio, there are plenty of fleet vehicles and busses running on LNG (Liquified Natural Gas). For obvious reasons, the local NG utility has a bunch.
The big problem, as I understand it is the L in LNG. NG is methane, and holding enough to provide any reasonable range requires that it be liquified, which requires high pressures to do so and a suitable pressure vessel to carry it around. Once that’s in place, the conversion is pretty trivial, except for the cost of satisfying the EPA trolls.
Liquifying NG also requires a fair amount of energy to run the compressors.
It’s definitely do-able if there was some external factor driving a large scale conversion, but there’s a good reason liquid transportation fuels dominate the market.
Because natural gas is a “fluffy” fuel unless you liquify it. Compressed natural gas tanks in a car won’t get you more than, oh, 150 miles of range - if that.
LNG infrastructure would be expensive and “lossy” (you lose gas as the liquid heats up and converts to a gas) and the tanks have to be built to keep the gas in a super-cooled state. Compressed natural gas tanks need to be built to withstand impacts in crashes, because the compressed gas (even if not flammable) would cause quite an enhancement to a crash if the tank vented explosively - not from the gas burning, but from the sheer force of becoming explosively de-compressed.
Here’s a rule of thumb: Ever been in a shop with a 80 to 120 gallon air compressor? Ever wonder how big a bang that tank would make if it exploded at 175PSI?
It would be about the force of .75 to 1.0 sticks of dynamite.
Now think about the force of a CNG tank rupturing at thousands of PSI...