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Natural Gas Vehicles

Natural Gas Vehicles use compressed natural gas (CNG) as fuel instead of petrol to run an internal combustion engine. The operation is cleaner than with petrol. Cars using this technology are readily available, or, a normal car can be converted. Natural gas vehicles are most practical for fleets of vehicles, such as taxis, that are centrally maintained and fuelled, and travel more miles per day than vehicles for personal use. CNG-powered buses are in use in Brazil, Argentina, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. CNG vehicles available today include the Honda Civic CGX above and the Ford Crown Victoria.

Natural gas is mostly made up of methane, with about 5 percent is made up of water vapour, butane, propane, ethane and other trace gases. Methane can be produced from coal.

Advantages of Natural Gas Vehicles

  • Natural gas results in fewer toxic emissions than petrol
  • In the event of an accident natural gas is safer than petrol
  • Natural gas is cheaper than petrol
  • Natural gas is relatively plentiful

Disadvantages of Natural Gas Vehicles

  • Since there is less energy in a gallon of natural gas compared to petrol, the driving range of natural gas vehicles is much less
  • Onboard natural gas tanks are larger than comparable petrol tanks. Therefore there is less boot space which will be more noticeable in smaller vehicles
  • The availability of natural gas at fuelling stations is less than petrol

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