Tracking code caldwell guardian

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why Can't We Buy New Cars Powered by Natural Gas?

Exxon Mobil is worried about the future of oil.  In a WSJ article last week they stated they have only found 95 barrels of oil for every 100 extracted.  In the same article Exxon Mobil people pointed out they are finding 158 cubic feet of Natural Gas for every 100 actually used.  Natural gas is in abundant supply and is a clean burning fuel.

Why can't automobile makers figure out how to make Natural Gas an option for people buying new cars and trucks?  We see a few vehicles sporting natural gas stickers on them but it is converted in an after-market effort by the owners.

It was apparent that Hybrid vehicles have taken over in SFO.  Even taxi cabs were hybrids for the most part.  The big question is just how economical are hybrid vehicles when it comes time to replace the batteries and what do we do with the expended batteries?  T. Boone Pickens got it right a couple of years back with the Pickens Plan. The only part that is problematic is the wind generation part of the plan.  The GRID is often times too far from the sources of wind.  Natural gas prices have gone down dramatically with the use of "fraking" to release the gas from solid rock formations.

There are a lot of homes currently heated with Natural Gas and the issue is to figure out how to take it from low home pressures up to the pressures needed to fill a fuel tank on a car or truck in a cheap and safe manner.  For the present time Natural Gas looks to be one of the best sources of energy for the USA.


  1. One Guardian reader has supplied a number of articles about Fiat and their move to make a production car for the US market called the Panda. It will use CNG as delivered to to customer. Fiat has rolled the dice in favor of Natural Gas and it is scoring big points in Europe costing as little as $0.08/mile fuel costs based on CNG in Europe

  2. I don't know what it costs to convert an existing car to natural gas but I would think it would be a lot less than the price bump for a hybrid and certainly less than a battery change-out when that time comes.

    Compressed Natural Gas is already used in a lot of buses and other large vehicles. It is a very good question why we can't get a new car equipped with this fuel option.

  3. I am familiar with the Fiat Panda 1.3L diesel and it get an amazing 55mgp city and around 67 mpg hwy. That is the good news the downside is it is pretty sluggish taking about 13 seconds to get to 0-60 mph.

    I call Intermountain Gas today to see if they offer CNG to customers and I got a resounding NO! Salt Lake City is the closest city to offer CNG to customers. It makes sense to power cars with CNG due to the cost and availability considerations.

  4. Bottom line is there is too much money to be made from peeling the skin off just about every citizen with OIL. Choice would mean competition for energy dollars and Big Oil will have none of that. 65MPG diesel cars and small trucks, vehicles powered with Natural Gas won't happen. Big Oil is the new Banking Bubble for this decade.


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