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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance

Brent D. Yacobucci
Section Research Manager

Higher gasoline prices in recent years and concerns over U.S. oil dependence have raised interest in natural gas vehicles (NGVs). Use of NGVs for personal transportation has focused on compressed natural gas (CNG) as an alternative to gasoline. Consumer interest has grown, both for new NGVs as well as for conversions of existing personal vehicles to run on CNG. This report finds that the market for natural gas passenger vehicles will likely remain limited unless the price for natural gas remains substantially lower than gasoline to offset the higher purchase price for an NGV.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated new regulations in April 2011 on alternative fuel vehicle conversions—including natural gas conversions. The new regulations allow greater flexibility for conversion companies to certify that their conversions do not lead to higher emissions—flexibility that could lead to significantly lower compliance costs. This could help spur the proliferation of natural gas conversions, especially for older vehicles.

Date of Report: January 11, 2012
Number of Pages:
Order Number: RS2
Price: $19.95

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