Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) continues to rise in popularity as a practical and economical alternative to gasoline. CNG is not a new fuel to the automotive world by any means. In fact, the first vehicle with a natural gas engine was built in 1860, before the development of the gasoline engine. However, as most of us already know, today there are millions more gasoline-powered vehicles than CNG-powered vehicles. With CNG prices being so much lower than gasoline, it will be exciting to witness the growth and development of CNG vehicles in the future.
There are many drivers pushing the development of CNG vehicles worldwide. Some drivers include lower vehicle emissions, lower vehicle maintenance costs, ability to operate well in severe weather conditions and CNG’s lower cost per mile driven when compared to gasoline. The most appealing driver to consumers is the fuel’s relatively low cost. The chart below compares CNG to gasoline and highlights the relative savings.
The above table shows that the price of both CNG and gasoline varies widely across the world. You can also see that the relative savings when using CNG rather than Gasoline are consistently high across the world.
The relative costs savings of CNG would instinctively cause you to wonder why CNG is not used more broadly as an automotive fuel globally. The main reason is that, over the course of the last century, oil became the dominant fuel and the automotive industry and infrastructure was built around it. The technology related to CNG is not as mature as oil nor is the same infrastructure available for CNG. With the rising cost of oil and other related issues, the growth of CNG as a vehicle fuel should continue and we should expect to see more vehicle options and infrastructure to support the fuel.