With so much focus on hybrid and electric vehicles right now, it’s easy to overlook that many other alternatives companies are working on. Ford says that with the recent rise in gas prices, more fleet owners are buying CNG vehicles.
The Big Three have offered CNG engine options for over a decade now, but they never really pushed the cheaper, cleaner, even during the last gas price run-up. With CNG prices around $2 for a gallon equivalent, it’s about half the cost of gasoline in some parts of the country. That means huge savings for fleet owners like Bill Scalzi, from my home state of Connecticut. His company, Metro Taxi, just bought 20 CNG Transit Connect taxis. I may have to pay Mr. Scalzi a visit. Connecticut, it seems, is installing more CNG fueling stations. I can get down with that, as CNG is the least refined fuel, mostly made up of methane, and puts out much fewer emissions (with the obvious exception of methane) than do other comparable fuels.
President Obama mentioned natural gas in his speech yesterday, so Ford is obviously paying attention this time around. However, their CNG offerings are limited to fleet vehicles right now, namely the E-Series vans, F-Series Superduty, and the aforementioned Transit Connect. Fiat and Chrysler are said to be investing in CNG vehicles, including Ram pickup trucks, but for now the Honda Civic GX is the only passenger car with a natural gas engine option. I’d love a CNG Mustang, but I doubt anything like that is in the cards. If I really want a clean-burning Mustang, I’ll go to ROUSH for some propane power. Hank Hill would be proud.
Source: Autoblog Green | Ford
Chris DeMorro is a writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs. You can read about his slow descent into madness at Sublime Burnout or follow his non-nonsensical ramblings on Twitter @harshcougar.