The fracking industry bubble looks about ready to pop, but some folks are standing by the notion that compressed natural gas, or CNG, is the transportation fuel of the future. Michigan-based Crazy Diamond Performance certainly thinks so, offering one of Chevy’s most popular sedans with an affordable CNG conversion reports Green Fleet Magazine.
Pricing is the most important factor here, and CDP claims that it can sell you a CNG-converted Chevy Cruze for about $26,000. The Honda Civic Natural Gasis a bit pricier at just over $29,000, though for awhile it was offered with thousands of miles worth of free fuel. For those keeping score at home, $26,000 is in the same ballpark as GM’s own Chevy Cruze Diesel, a 46 MPG oil-burner that’s met with mixed reviews.
But CDP offers a bi-fuel conversion that adds a 8.5 gallon-equivalent CNG tank that when full, offers 130 horsepower and 250 miles of driving range. For an additional $2,000, you can get the 148 horsepower turbocharged engine instead, though both models come with a 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, the same that GM offers.
Looking for something a bit cooler? Crazy Diamond Performance specializes in CNG performance vehicles, including and hot rods, and the green-painted, CNG-powered Gasser powered by a CNG-fed 427 LSX engine is a particular favorite.
With CNG being the far cheaper fuel option in many parts of the country, there’s definitely a niche of interested buyers, especially at a competitive price point. CNG currently sells between $1.50 and $2.50 a gallon-equivalent, which for fleet operators especially could mean huge fuel savings.
But is it really saving the environment too? Probably not.