Natural Gas Vehicles

Natural gas vehicles are getting a lot of attention these days.

They may soon find a permanent place in our transportation system, because the nation is getting serious about reducing carbon emissions. Abundant domestic gas supplies are keeping prices affordable and reducing dependence on foreign oil.

 

Natural gas vehicle (NGV) benefits

  • Affordable. You can save as much as 40 percent compared to the cost of gasoline.
  • Green. NGVs run cleaner than gasoline or diesel, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The American Council for an Energy-Efficiency Economy named the Honda Civic GX NGV the Greenest Vehicle of the Year eight years in a row.
  • Domestic. There’s an abundant domestic supply of natural gas helping reduce dependence on foreign oil. While the U.S. imports more than 47 percent of the oil it uses, 98 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. was produced in North America.

Where are they?

  • There are more than 150,000, NGVs in the U.S. and 15.2 million worldwide.
  • There are about 400 NGVs in Oregon, mostly commercial fleets of passenger and light duty trucks, such as the airport shuttle busses.
  • NW Natural has 100 in our own company fleet.

Where are public CNG fueling stations?

  • There are five public Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) fueling stations in our territory - in Vancouver, Salem, Eugene and Medford, as shown on this map.
  • NW Natural is working with public and private organizations to promote refueling stations.
  • While today’s home fueling stations are spendy, a home compressor may be developed that is affordable and reliable.

Vehicle choices

  • The next big NGV market being developed is for heavy-duty fleet vehicles: both long-haul trucks that typically operate on Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) and local heavy-duty trucks, taxis, and busses that typically operate on CNG.
  • Most NGVs are trucks or vans. GM Silverado and Sierra Pickups and the Dodge Ram 2500 Dual-Cab Pickup are available with bi-fuel options. GM Express/Savana Cargo and Passenger Vans are available as CNG.
  • And bi-fuel cars allow you to switch back and forth between gasoline and natural gas.
  • Chevy reased a bi-fuel version of its popular Impala in 2016. Bi-fuel cars allow you to switch back and forth between gasoline and natural gas.
  • You can also convert the car you own now to run on natural gas.
  • Most passenger cars and light NGVs operate with Compressed Natural Gas. Liquefied natural gas is used in heavier vehicles that travel longer distances.

Fleets

NW Natural has received approval from the Public Utility Commission of Oregon to install, own and maintain equipment at business locations owned by customers who want to fuel their fleets with CNG. Read more here.

Safety

  • NGVs are safe to drive.
  • If the tank got hit or punctured in an accident, there’s a relief valve that vents the tank outside of the vehicle.
  • Natural gas is safer than other liquid fuels because it’s lighter than air so it rises and dissipates.
  • It has a much higher ignition temperature than other fuels; and it is non-toxic.

CNG vehicle customer responsibility

Service to Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) vehicle fueling equipment is subject to tariff requirements. A fuel-use tax may apply to natural gas used for CNG vehicle fueling. It is the customer’s responsibility to calculate and report any fuel-use tax obligation. Each taxing authority may have their own calculations. For more information on calculating vehicle fueling usage, visit the State of Oregon or U.S. Department of Energy.