While America’s energy policy hangs in the balance, one thing both Democrats and Republicans agree on is the exploitation of America’s vast natural gas reserves. According to Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne, if the United States full-on embraces CNG as a transportation fuel, we could reduce emissions and eliminate our reliance on foreign oil in just a few years time.
Marchionne’s exact quote was this;
A rapid adoption of CNG as a fuel source for automotive applications would almost instantly kill the reliance on foreign oil, and it would bring about a substantial reduction in emissions. Those are opportunities that need to be grabbed and they need to be industrialized. Especially with large vehicles like pickups and large SUVs, we could probably accommodate the installation of CNG tanks within the next 24 to 36 months.
It is worth pointing out that Marchionne’s Fiat is the largest seller of CNG vehicles in Europe, and that Chrysler’s Ram brand has just started production of CNG-powered heavy-duty pickups. So the guy has a horse in the game. On the same token, CNG is probably America’s best hope for cutting off foriegn oil imports.
New drilling methods, including the controversial practice of fracking, mean that energy suppliers can now exploit massive deposits of natural gas. There is enough natural gas to power America for decades, if not longer, yet the engine technology and infrastructure still hasn’t caught on in this country.
And it won’t catch on without a helpful nudge from the government. Human beings have a hard time embracing change, and as long as gasoline remains at a “reasonable” price level, Americans will continue to fill up on foreign oil. Right now the only CNG passenger car on the U.S. market, the Honda Civic NGV, is being sold with a $3,000 fuel card just to get customers in the seat.
For what it’s worth, Marchionne also noted that Big Oil is the largest obstacle to the acceptence of alternative fuels. Yup, this car guy gets it.
Source: The Truth About Cars