Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Goodbye electric cars! - Welcome to natural gas powered vehicles!

“The electric technology just isn’t advanced, it’s not there, and there’s so much innovation that’s required to make it viable”
Peter Grady 
Vice President, Chrysler

"The current capabilities of electric vehicles do not meet society's needs, whether it may be the distance the cars can run, or the costs, or how it takes a long time to charge,"  
Takeshi Uchiyamada 
Vice chairman, Toyota

"The U.S. now has a 100-year supply of natural gas. I'd make a bet it's the next big transportation fuel. The price is so much lower than gasoline - people will find a way to use it."
Mustafa Mohatarem
Chief economist, General Motors

It is time to say goodbye to one of the favorites of the greenies - the uneconomical and expensive electric car. Instead there is every reason to welcome a new phase of the American led shale gas revolution - vehicles  powered by natural gas. As Mustafa Mohatarem, Chief economist at General Motors says, natural gas is "the next big transportation fuel". 
First, the critical infrastructure component is grinding forward. According to the industry group Natural Gas Vehicle Association (NGVAmerica), more than 1,000 CNG/LNG fueling stations currently operate in the U.S. — and that number is growing. Royal Dutch Shell has partnered with TravelCenters of America 
to sell LNG at 100 sites in the U.S. Shell has ambitious plans to build out LNG fueling infrastructure in Canada as well.
At the same time, T. Boone Pickens-sponsored Clean Energy Fuels has formed an alliance with Pilot-Flying J — the nation’s largest truck-stop operator — to bring CNG to its 550 locations. While this is hardly registers among the estimated 145,000 gas stations across the nation, it’s a positive development. Analysts estimate that by 2019, more than 2,000 stations will offer CNG/LNG.
Secondly, CNG/LNG vehicle adoption is growing as well. About 40% of garbage trucks sold in the U.S. last year were natural gas-powered, according to NGVAmerica. More recently, a coalition of 22 U.S. governors announced that their respective states will buy at least 10,000 CNG cars and trucks annually.
The hope is that their collective buying power and giving the automotive industry a guaranteed market will cause the cost of CNG vehicles to drop. Currently, CNG vehicles can cost up to $10,000 more than their gasoline-powered counterparts. That higher cost is attributed to internal combustion retrofits. However, if those vehicles came off the assembly line set up for natural gas, the cost would drop considerably.
Cleantech analytics firm Pike Research expects natural gas-fueled trucks to see 10% compound annual growth in between 2012 and 2019, based on lower purchasing costs. That translates from roughly 3,250 natural gas trucks expected to sell this year to almost double that by 2019.
Read the entire article here
Natural gas is strongly on its way also to cars and other privately used vehicles. Chrysler is to be congratulated for offering a new natural gas-powered pick up:

Chrysler Group LLC, the automaker controlled by is making its natural gas-powered Ram pickup available for sale to retail buyers, according to the head of the company’s dealership network.
Chrysler began allowing all dealers to order the Ram 2500 Heavy Duty CNG pickup in September, Peter Grady, vice president of network development and fleet, said in an interview. Chrysler, which initially made the truck available only to fleet buyers, joins Honda Motor Co. as the only automakers selling compressed natural gas vehicles to U.S. retail consumers.
“The dealers have been asking for it, they’ve been clamoring, particularly in the natural gas states and in some of these places where you’re starting to get infrastructure,” Grady said in an interview at his office in Auburn Hills, Michigan, where Chrysler is based. States where the fuel and infrastructure are most available include California, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas, Ohio and Pennsylvania, he said.
Sergio Marchionne, chief executive officer of Chrysler and Turin, Italy-based Fiat, has argued that natural gas engines are cheaper and more viable than plug-in hybrid and electric cars.
Under U.S. fuel-economy standards released Aug. 28, natural gas-powered vehicles were made eligible for credits aimed at reducing emissions. Chrysler testified to the Senate’s Energy and Natural Resources Committee in July and advocated for parity between natural gas-powered cars and trucks and other alternative-fuel vehicles.
Read the entire article here 

1 comment:

lizabaker said...

"Goodbye Electric Cars!" says an Auto Dealer In Texas again. :)