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CNG Vehicles Are Going to Be the Car of the Future

Updated on July 15, 2011

If you are planning on making a new car purchase in the near future, you may want to consider looking into a CNG or eco-friendly vehicle. CNG vehicles are not only much better for the environment, but they will also end up costing you less in fuel fill ups and will help reduce the amount of gasoline that America consumes on a regular basis.

First of all, it is important to note the drastic comparisons between gasoline and CNG emissions. CNG vehicles produce considerably lower amounts of nitrogen oxides, and toxic pollutants as well as greenhouse gar carbon dioxide. CNG gas is a cleaner burning, more efficient type of fuel. Owning and using CNG fuel will reduce the carbon monoxide emissions by more than 90 percent, reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 25 percent, reduce nitrogen oxide emissions by 30 to 60 percent, emit fewer toxic and carcinogenic pollutants, emit little or no particulate matter and eliminate evaporative emissions.

As state governments have created laws that push automakers to produce vehicles will better and better emission rates, the CNG market is even further ahead of them. CNG vehicles continue to get better at reducing the amount of emissions produced by the vehicles. The U.S. Environment Protection Agency has called the natural gas Honda Civic GX the cleanest internal combustion vehicle on Earth. If you are looking for the best value and most eco-friendly gas powered vehicle, be sure to check out the Honda Civic GX.

Although most people know that CNG is better for the environment, many do not know what exactly CNG is. CNG stands for Compressed Natural Gas and is comprised of Methane gas. It is a fossil fuel substitute for gasoline, diesel and propane. CNG does still produce greenhouse gases, but its emissions are much lower and much cleaner compared to regular fuel. When CNG is used in cars, it is compressed to less than 1% of its normal volume, producing enormous amounts of energy for a very small amount.

Although America’s amounts of CNG vehicles are certainly on the rise, more and more countries in Europe and South American are almost entirely turning to CNG vehicles due to their drastic rises in gas prices. South America is actually in the lead with a global market share of 48%. Many buses, taxis and large truck vehicles are also turning to CNG because the prices for the fuel are drastically lower than gasoline.

The best thing about CNG powered vehicles is that any can be turned into a CNG powered vehicle. Certain manufactured cars are called dedicated natural gas vehicles, and they are designed to run solely on natural gas. However, there are also vehicles that are called dual-fuel or bi-fuel vehicles, and those ones can run on natural gas or gasoline. Because not all gas stations have embraced the natural gas revolution, it can sometimes be difficult to find places to fill up with natural gas. One of the advantages of the dual-fuel vehicles is that you can always be sure to have places to fill up with fuel even if there isn’t a natural gas pump, but it also gives you the chance to take advantage of the cleaner burning CNG part of it when it is available. Because dual-fuel vehicles require two separate gas tanks for the two separate fuel types, cars tend to have less space, usually taking up the back passenger or cargo space. As mentioned before, even if you didn’t buy your car with a CNG fuel tank, you can have your original gasoline tank replaced with a CNG tank.

Natural gas vehicles also tend to be safer and less flammable than regular gasoline and diesel vehicles. Natural gas tanks are made to be much stronger and safer than either diesel or gasoline fuel tanks. Diesel and gasoline tanks run the risk of leaks and can contaminate groundwater, whereas natural gas tanks do not have that risk. Natural gas vapors are also completely nontoxic, whereas diesel vapors do contain toxins that are dangerous to ingest and breathe.

Although CNG vehicles are better overall, there are a few compromises you may have to consider before purchases a clean burning vehicle. CNG-powered vehicles generally tend to cost a bit more than standard gasoline-powered vehicles. A CNG-vehicle compared with a similar gasoline-powered vehicle can cost up to $10,000 more depending on the model. Therefore, up-front, the vehicle will cost you more. There is also the unfortunate fact that many gas stations do not provide natural gas pumps, make it less convenient. As mentioned before, CNG tanks take up a lot more space than standard gasoline tanks, so space will be limited. And although the price-per-gallon on natural gas is more than half the price of gasoline, the amount of miles that you get out of a tank of natural gas goes down by about half. If you get about 400 miles or so out of your gasoline tank, you will only get about 220 to 260 miles out of a tank of gas in a CNG vehicle.

CNG vehicles do certainly reduce the amount of harmful emissions; it is, after all, a natural gas which means that it is in limited supply. With the rising number of CNG vehicles, the demand for natural gas rises with it which means that prices will rise eventually as well.

There are also battery powered vehicles out there that offer a way to utilize a completely gas free system, but still offers the convenience of a gas tank just in case.

Whatever the case may be, look into a CNG vehicle during your next car hunt. You can make a difference in the amount of harmful emissions that are produced every year with the purchase of a clean burning CNG vehicle.

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