Natural Gas Fleets

Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) and Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) are fueling transportation across the country.

As the nation benefits from an abundant domestic supply of natural gas, more companies are turning to CNG or LNG to fuel their transportation needs. It’s being used for long-haul trucks, marine vessels, trains, taxis, busses and more.

Benefits

1. Affordable - Businesses can save money. Natural gas is less than half the price of gasoline and diesel at the pump on an energy equivalent basis, according to the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report.

2. Green – Natural gas is one of the cleanest burning alternative transportation fuels commercially available today. It can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 30 percent and other smog-producing pollutants by up to 90 percent compared to diesel or gasoline, helping businesses meet compliance regulations.

By the numbers

Companies that rely on return-to-base vehicles, like transit agencies and solid waste haulers, have been using natural gas for years. Today, up to 50 different U.S. manufacturers produce 100 models of light, medium and heavy-duty Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs) and engines. There are more than 120,000 NGVs in the U.S. used by both businesses and consumers, which includes the following:

  • More than 11,000 transit busses
  • Nearly 4,000 refuse trucks
  • More than 3,000 school busses
  • 15,000-17,000 medium-duty vehicles
  • More than 30,000 light-duty vehicles in government and private fleets
  • 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

LNG or CNG?

  • LNG is more energy dense and suited for vehicles travelling more than 250 miles per day, up to 500-600 miles per day between refills, such as long-haul trucks. LNG is liquefied at a central location and transported to the fueling station much the same as gasoline or diesel.
  • CNG is better for vehicles that travel up to about 250 miles per day between refills, such as local heavy-duty trucks, taxis, and busses. CNG is delivered through the typical natural gas system and doesn’t need to be delivered by a fuel delivery truck. It can be compressed at the fueling station itself.

Filling up

Vehicles that return-to-base can refuel at a central station at their company. For long-haul vehicles, the challenge is greater. For example, there are just 10 publicly available CNG refueling stations along our region’s I-5 corridor, plus two in the Boise area and seven in the Vancouver, Canada region. Some private ventures are developing a series of fueling stations, making it possible for long-haul trucks to refuel across the country.

NW Natural is working with policy leaders and regulators to find new ways to support development of statewide infrastructure here. Additionally there are policy recommendations that natural gas associations and companies are working toward:

  • Tax incentives for infrastructure
  • Multi-state agreements and joint purchasing programs
  • Tax abatements and exemptions
  • Land provisions
  • Weight exemptions