American operators of public and private vehicle fleets depend on many different sorts of economical low-emission vehicles powered by our abundant supplies of domestically-produced natural gas to keep their operations on the move. They are backed by a diverse industry of networked companies dedicated to manufacturing and supporting fleets of natural gas vehicles.
Natural gas vehicles have established a proven track record of reliability
• Improvements* in natural gas engines have led to increased performance while beating the EPA’s timetable for emissions reductions. • There are nearly 14 million NGVs in use worldwide, with 110,000 operating in the U.S. • According to the International Association of Natural Gas Vehicles, more than 65 million NGVs will be in service worldwide by a decade from now. This will represent a full 9% of the planet’s transportation fleets.
In the United States, natural gas already powers:
• Over 11,000 transit buses • Almost 4000 waste collection trucks, with California at the leading edge of adoption • Over 3,000 school buses • Roughly 15-17,000 vehicles in medium-duty applications, including airport shuttles and various utility functions. • Over 30,000 light-duty vehicles serving the fleets of federal, state, and local governments.
Natural gas vehicles have lower lifecycle costs:
• The low price of domestic natural gas can lead to significant savings on fuel costs. While the historical ratio between the price of an MCF of natural gas and a barrel of oil was usually around 7 to 1, it has more recently ranged between 17 and 22 to 1 (with an energy equivalence of roughly 6 MCF/barrel). This price differential is expected to persist and widen as America continues to tap its abundant domestic natural gas supplies. • The cost of maintaining gas vehicles is the same or lower than for gasoline or diesel vehicles. • The favorable economic profile of NGVs is further supplemented by a variety of federal and state tax credits.
NGVs are quieter:
• Versus comparable diesel vehicles, heavy-duty natural gas-powered vehicles produce 80-90% lower decibel levels of noise pollution.
NGV models are available to fill a wide variety of roles:
• Original equipment manufacturers now offer a broad portfolio of light-, medium, and heavy-duty natural gas-powered vehicles, and qualified retrofitters can install certified systems for the conversion of new or existing vehicles. • There are over 50 different models of light-duty sedans, vans, and pick-ups already on the market. • All major manufacturers and body-upfitters of refuse truck chassis, most builders of shuttle and transit buses, two of the top three builders of school buses, all major manufacturers of street sweepers, and top truck builders including Freightliner, Kenworth, and Peterbilt are now offering factory-produced natural gas options. • These manufacturers are expanding their natural gas R&D budgets to develop and certify new designs in anticipation of forthcoming specifications for natural gas engines. • There is a wide variety of options for providing access to fueling stations, with schemes ranging from fleet owner-operation to full outsourcing and from fully public to strictly private access.
Natural gas vehicles emit fewer greenhouse gases:
• NGV greenhouse gas emissions are 20-29% lower, with heavy-duty vehicles offering reductions of 20-23% and light-duty vehicles 26-29%.
Use of natural gas-powered vehicles is growing:
• The use of natural gas in vehicles almost doubled between 2003 and 2009 and has replaced the equivalent of 360 million gallons of diesel. • NGV transit buses account for 2/3 of natural gas use in vehicles. • CNG and LNG-powered refuse collection and transfer vehicles account for roughly 11% of use and constitute the fastest-growing market segment. • More than 35 airports nationwide are now operating NGVs as part of their fleets and/or have adopted policies encouraging privately contracted fleets on their premises to operate NGVs, accounting for 9% of total natural gas use in vehicles. • Southern California’s successful clean port transportation initiative has stimulated other ports on both coasts to adopt similar programs.
NGV fleets are ideally suited to a wide variety of applications:
• Governments at the local, state, and federal levels desiring green engine vehicles • Airports: Terminal shuttles for business, hotel, and parking; taxis; door-to-door transportation providers; airline ground vehicles • Refuse: Collection, transfer, and recycling vehicles • Mass Transit: Buses, vehicles for administrative and maintenance functions • Short-haul delivery and distribution: Food/beverages, package delivery, port-rail transfer, laundry services, print media • Commercial services: Utilities (telephone, electrical, gas and heating), plumbing and HVAC, pest control, cleaning services, medical/laboratory & legal couriers