Natural Gas Vehicles Offer A Sustainable Future
Discover The Advantages Of Natural Gas For Your Fleet
You may have heard that compressed natural gas (CNG) is a better fuel for your fleet and the environment, but you probably need more information about its costs and benefits before you make any decisions. Natural gas offers many distinct advantages, such as cost stability, lower emissions and reduced dependence on foreign oil. As you consider CNG for your fleet, learn more about its role as an alternative fuel.
What Is Compressed Natural Gas?
Compressed natural gas is the cleanest-burning commercially available alternative fuel today, and its use as a transportation fuel is improving the air quality and the health of communities across the country. Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and other smog-producing emissions when compared to gasoline and diesel vehicles.
CNG is natural gas stored at high pressure. It’s produced by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. To provide adequate driving range, CNG is stored on board a vehicle in a compressed gaseous state within cylinders at a pressure of 3,000 to 3,600 pounds per square inch.
Natural gas is composed mostly of methane, but it also contains small amounts of ethane, propane, butane and pentane. Methane, a combination of hydrogen and carbon, is formed when organic matter is trapped beneath the sedimentary layers of the earth.
Abundant Domestically Produced Fuel
The United States now produces more natural gas than ever before, lowering our dependence on foreign oil. Nearly 98 percent of the natural gas used in the U.S. is produced in the U.S., and nearly all of the remaining supply comes by pipeline from Canada. Enough resources are available in the U.S. to support CNG vehicles for more than 90 years.
A well-established pipeline infrastructure in the United States delivers natural gas to almost every urban area and most suburban areas. CNG refueling stations are available across the U.S. with new stations opening daily. For the most up-to-date list, visit the comprehensive station locator.
While the prices of gasoline and diesel fluctuate widely, natural gas prices are expected to remain stable for at least the next 20 years, according to many reputable sources, including the business information firm IHS. On the other hand, gasoline and diesel prices are expected to rise significantly during that time period. Converting to natural gas offers advantages such as impressive ROI and sets your fleet up for at least two decades of cost savings and stability.
Projected Fuel-Price Differentials
Pricing Based On National Averages; Cost Varies - Current CNG Pricing at SJG Stations: $1.691
Source: EIA's Annual Energy Outlook (AEO) 2017 - www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo
CNG is an inherently safe fuel, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. CNG fuel storage tanks are stronger and safer than gasoline or diesel tanks, reducing the likelihood of an accidental leak. If a leak occurs, CNG dissipates quickly into the air — instead of on the ground — reducing the risk of fire and ground contamination. Plus, CNG fuel systems are completely sealed, so vehicles give off little to no emissions during refueling.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
CNG is a cleaner-burning fuel than diesel or gasoline with little or no residue, resulting in less engine wear and improving vehicle longevity. CNG does not dilute or contaminate crankcase oil, so intervals between oil changes and tune-ups are extended. Plus, pipes and mufflers last longer because CNG does not react to the metals. All of this lowers maintenance costs while extending the overall life of the engine.
CNG engines are 90 percent quieter than diesel engines, which means reduced driver fatigue and a better quality of life for drivers. This also makes natural gas vehicles preferable in densely populated areas and for use at night.
CNG vehicles experience less knocking and no vapor locking. Plus, since natural gas is already in a gaseous state, CNG vehicles start better, even under severe cold or hot weather conditions. Natural gas gives roughly the same mileage as gasoline.
The Future Of Fuel
Not only is natural gas a cost-efficient alternative fuel, but natural gas vehicles produce lower levels of emissions, benefiting the environment. Natural gas vehicles reduce carbon monoxide emissions by up to 75%, nitrogen oxide emissions by about 50% and tailpipe emissions by up to 95% compared to petroleum-powered vehicles.
Converting To Natural Gas
At South Jersey Gas, we understand you have serious budget considerations when it comes to fueling. Natural gas is the most sustainable option for your fleet. When you partner with us, we guide you through the conversion process to ensure your transition to natural gas is as smooth as possible. We’ll help you locate public fueling stations or even install a private station at your facility.
From the beginning, we develop a comprehensive plan of action, including a detailed timeline, and give you the tools to calculate your expected ROI. Our Conversion Agents are by your side every step of the way, providing you with dedicated customer service, industry insight and a personal cell phone number for 24/7 access.
There are many factors to consider when converting to natural gas, and South Jersey Gas is your resource for the questions you need answers to. As you prepare to take the next step, learn more about how natural gas works.