What is natural gas?

Natural gas is a fossil fuel extracted from gas wells or in conjunction with crude oil production. It is also produced as a by-product of landfill operations, feedlots, and sewage treatment plants. Natural gas is non-toxic, non-corrosive, and non-carcinogenic. It poses no threat to soil, surface water, or groundwater. Natural gas is lighter than air, so it dissipates quickly in the unlikely event of a leak. In addition, the narrow flammability range and higher ignition temperature of natural gas reduces the risk of accidental ignition or combustion. Natural gas has been used as a transportation fuel for more than 60 years.  According to the U.S. Gas Research Institute, there have been no fatalities, burn accidents or serious injuries related to the use of natural gas in more than 430 million vehicle-miles of use.

  • Can natural gas be used in any vehicle?

No. Vehicles are either specifically made to run on natural gas or are modified/converted to run on natural gas.

  • Is it possible to convert my personal vehicle to run on natural gas?

Many late-model Ford, GM, and Chrysler models can be converted to run on natural gas. The conversion system must be certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and/or California Air Resources Board AND must be installed by a manufacturer-certified installer. A list of approved conversions is maintained by the Natural Gas Vehicle Association of America. Before embarking on a conversion, you must also make sure you have access to fuel, either at a public fueling station or a home fueling appliance.

  • Where can I fill up on CNG?

CNG stations are located throughout the United States. The Alternative Fuels Data Center maintains a current list of public of private fueling stations. While on the road, use your phone or PDA to easily find stations with this mobile station locator.

  • How long does it take to fuel a vehicle?

The fast-fuel stations, which are the kind used at public and large private stations, take about the same amount of time as filling a gasoline vehicle.

  • How do I fill up at a CNG station?

Adding CNG to your vehicle is as easy as filling up on conventional gasoline or diesel. There’s a pump and hose and CNG is sold by the gallon. By design, it’s impossible to add an incorrect fuel to a CNG vehicle.

  • How is CNG measured and priced?

Compressed natural gas is sold in GGEs, or Gasoline Gallon Equivalents. One GGE of CNG has the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline.

  • What is the price of natural gas compared to conventional fuels like gasoline or diesel?

Natural gas costs, on average, 33% to 50% less than conventional gasoline and 42% less than diesel fuel (on an energy equivalent basis) at the pump.

  • How many miles do you get to the gallon?

CNG cars get about the same miles per GGE as gasoline-powered cars get per gallon.

  • Will my vehicle’s performance be affected?

The horsepower, acceleration, and cruise speed of natural gas vehicles are comparable with those of conventionally fueled vehicles.

  • Will CNG shorten the life of my engine?

No, not if the conversion is performed by a manufacturer-approved installer. In fact, because CNG is such a clean burning fuel, carbon deposits in the engine are negligible. Cylinder and ring wear is reduced and tune ups and oil changes will be required less frequently. CNG engines have been shown to last up to three times longer than the same engine operating on gasoline.

  • What happens in a collision?

Compressed natural gas cylinders are significantly stronger than gasoline tanks, have withstood rigorous impact and bonfire testing, and meet or exceed U.S. Department of Transportation safety standards. In addition, cylinders are installed in the vehicle truck and in an area that provides ample side and rear crumple space and prevents them from moving into the passenger area in the event of a collision.

  • Will my vehicle’s warranty still be good once it’s converted?

So long as the conversion is done by a manufacturer-approved converter, your vehicle warranty remains intact.

  • Will my insurance be affected?

It’s highly unlikely that converting to CNG would alter your premium. However, you should tell your insurance company that you’ve converted your vehicle.

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