Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a natural gas vehicle?
A. A natural gas vehicle (NGV) is a car, truck, van or bus that uses compressed natural gas (CNG) to fuel its engine. Because is it not a liquid fuel, natural gas is compressed at 3,000 or 3,600 pounds per square inch so it can be stored in steel, aluminum, fiberglass or carbon-fiber cylinders.
Q. How do NGVs work?
A. NGVs work like conventional gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. They burn a gaseous mixture of fuel and air in an engine; however, natural gas has the advantage of already being a gas, which helps the engine run cleaner.
Q. Are NGVs safe?
A. Absolutely! The cylinders that hold the compressed natural gas are significantly stronger than gasoline tanks. They have withstood impact and bonfire testing and meet or exceed U.S. Department of Transportation safety standards. Even in the unlikely event of a leak, CNG will not form combustible pools on the ground as other fuel do. Because natural gas is lighter than air, it will rise and dissipate if released.
Q. Are NGVs cleaner than gasoline or diesel vehicles?
A. NGVs are the cleanest of any vehicles in commercial production today. In fact, NGVs produce 5 percent to 10 percent of the emissions allowable by today’s most stringent standards. Dedicated NGVs can reduce exhaust emissions of carbon monoxide (CO) by 70 percent; nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 87 percent and carbon dioxide (CO2) by 20 percent below those of gasoline vehicles.
Q. How do you fuel NGVs?
A. NGVs are refueled at either fueling locations or with home refueling appliances:
- Fueling locations: Natural gas is compressed and dispenses into vehicles in much the same way as gasoline. These locations will either offer a “quick-fill” or “time-fill” method of fueling. Quick-fill refueling takes about three to seven minutes. Time–fill refueling is usually done overnight in about five to eight hours. NGVs are convenient for fleets since the vehicles usually return to the same location each night for refueling. For a list of NGV refueling stations in the U.S., visit: www.eere.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/natural_gas_stations.html (U.S. DOE- maintained site of U.S. stations)
- Home refueling appliances: Provide consumers with an overnight refueling option. These appliances require 240 VAC/60HZ electric service along with the standard natural gas service available at most homes. Other slightly larger compressors which operate on 220 volts are ideal for businesses with small fleets.
Q. Is compressed natural gas cheaper?
A. On average, natural gas costs approximately one-third the price of gasoline at the pump. Natural gas is sold in GGEs, or gasoline gallon equivalents. A GGE has the same energy content (124,800 Btu) as a gallon of gasoline.
Q. Is natural gas a domestically produced fuel?
A. While in 2005 the United States imported more than 65 percent of the oil used, 97 percent of the natural gas in the U.S. was produced in North America (85 percent from the U.S. and 12 percent from Canada).
Q. How many NGVs are on the road today?
A. There are approximately 140,000 NGVs in the U.S., but there are more than 8 million NGVs worldwide.
Q. Where can I buy an NGV?
A. Currently, Honda, General Motors, Ford and Dodge have original equipment manufacturer (OEM) products available in the U.S.
Q. Are there any state incentives or rebates available?
Q. Are there any Federal incentives or rebates available?
A. Yes, certain federal tax incentives and rebates are available. Learn more about State and Federal incentives here:
Q. Who can I call for more information?
A. Please call Easton Utilities at 410-822-6110.