Want to Run Your Car to Run on Natural Gas?

CNG tank in car
CNG tank in car

Think again if you live in the US.

The other night I was thinking, since the price of gasoline is getting so high; “How cool it would be if I could take a hose that’s connected to my home’s natural gas line and plug it to my car that has been converted to use CNG or both gasoline and CNG.” So… I started doing some research. Boy was I in for a surprise. In reality I really knew most of this, but I didn’t really understand the impact, or any of the details.

Compressed Natural Gas or CNG vehicle conversion presents so many roadblocks that it would be economically Unfeasible for any normal person. It is also a logistical nightmare as there isn’t a CNG infrastructure available to refill your vehicle in case you find yourself in need of more gas.

With that said, it came as no surprise to find that most, if not all, CNG providers I.E. “The Gas Company” do this with their own fleet of vehicles.  This is pretty much the same with other companies like UPS.  These companies have converted most of their fleet vehicles to run CNG for all their vehicles that stay pretty much in the local service area but all the companies I researched also had ‘other’ vehicles that ran on diesel or gasoline for making extended range trips outside of their service area.

I also did a little research on converting to propane or LPG and found that a vehicle converted to LPG would have a wider range of operation using a smaller tank than CNG. This was due mostly because the gas is in a liquid state.  Most fuel can store more usable energy when it is in a liquid state.  Although CNG can be liquefied, the costs to do so aren’t cheap and would raise the cost for an individual to more than what one would pay for gasoline for quite a while.  You might reach the breakeven point in about a year if the gasoline prices continue to rise as they are now.

In the end, I’m not “poo-pooing” someone doing this, I’m just illustrating some of the hurdles and decisions one must be aware of so they can make an intelligent decision on their pursuit.  God knows we need people that “toss paradigms to the wind” and create new ways to power the masses.  Those that do will probably find themselves highly compensated for their efforts. 

I remember sometime back when gasoline was fairly high, that I saw many interesting ads all over the Internet about ‘Running your car on Water.”  Basically, converting water into hydrogen and oxygen and feeding that explosive mix into the intake of a vehicle to be burned along with the normal gasoline, thus reducing the amount of gasoline needed for combustion.  An interesting concept, and it probably works with some refinement.  But the point is, that I’m sure many people who jumped in on the “Run your Car on Water” bandwagon made a fair sum of money.

 So.. Wave on, entrepreneurs.  I hope you make brazillions!