If you are wanting to learn about the CNG Pros and Cons, you found the right place. The buzz over alternative fuels is steadily growing stronger as the demand for cleaner, safer and less expensive fuel continues to rise. Because of the record increases in gasoline prices, brought about by the oil crisis, more people are now looking at the option of either replacing their vehicles with a new, fuel-efficient model or retrofitting their existing vehicle to use alternative fuels. Among the different varieties of alternative fuels, natural gas is one of the most well known.
Natural gas is available in two forms: compressed natural gas or CNG and liquefied natural gas or LNG. For car owners who want to convert their vehicles to use natural gas, CNG is a viable option. However, there are some advantages and disadvantages in converting a car to CNG. For drivers considering a switch to CNG, it is important to know and understand these pros and cons so you can gauge if converting your car is worth it.
- Vehicles converted to CNG are more cost-effective than those running on traditional gasoline engines. The cost of CNG can go as little as a third of the price of a gallon of gasoline, especially if you use a home refueling station. And even in commercial refuelling stations, CNG still costs less than gasoline. Estimated savings on CNG is at 30% less than gasoline.
CNG is a cleaner fuel than gasoline. Compared to gasoline, using CNG reduces carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 90 to 97% and decreases nitrogen oxide emissions by 35 to 60%. Although CNG can still emit greenhouse gases, the emissions are 20-30% lower than those from gasoline engines. Also, CNG can potentially lower non-methane hydrocarbon emissions by as much as 50 to 70%. CNG vehicles also produce fewer carcinogenic pollutants.
CNG is safer than gasoline. CNG is a clean burning fuel. Since natural gas is lighter than air, leaks dissipate into the atmosphere rapidly. On the contrary, gasoline leaks are dangerous because the fuel pools in the ground creating a fire hazard. Meanwhile, CNG tanks are designed to release gas slowly. It will not explode even if subjected to a round of shots from a rifle.
- Converting a car to CNG can be costly with prices ranging from one to several thousands of dollars. Although Congress encourages CNG conversion by offering tax cuts of up to 50%, the conversion still needs an EPA certification to qualify for the tax credit. Getting this certificate can cost companies tens of thousands of dollars and six to eight months time. Fortunately, companies such as CNG United are determined to make CNG conversion more affordable and accessible for Americans.
CNG stations may not be available in some areas. There is also a limited number of refueling stations throughout the US.
To install a CNG conversion kit into your gasoline powered vehicle, you may have to sacrifice a big chunk of the car trunk or cargo space.
Overall, cost of conversion is still the biggest setback. Savings in fuel and maintenance costs, however, can offset the initial cost. CNG conversion is now readily available. In fact, CNG United has started their services last month.