According to the Bloomberg Businessweek, there could be 25 million natural gas vehicles on roads worldwide by 2019. The gas shale revolution turned the U.S. into the world’s second-largest natural gas producer, and increased supply enough to meet current U.S. consumption for 100 years.
The U.S. already has 1,000 natural gas fueling stations (half of which are open to the public), and about 120,000 natural gas-powered vehicles. There are more than 15.2 million natural gas vehicles worldwide, according to Natural Gas Vehicles for America.
“Commercial vehicles, which generally rack up two or more times the annual mileage of consumer cars, are going first. In the last year many companies including GE, UPS, etc. have announced plans to begin or expand conversions of their fleets to natural gas.”
The natural gas boom is taking the trucking industry by storm. Fleet companies are taking a leap forward and switching from petroleum to cleaner-burning natural gas.
With the price of natural gas at a low, companies with larger fleets are looking to take advantage. In fact, the United Parcel Service (UPS) announced its plans to expand its current 112 natural gas vehicles to about 800 to run on liquefied natural gas (LNG) by the end of 2014.
Like most companies, UPS still has a long way to go in the conversion, but are “benefiting from incentives provided by various states and the federal government, which offer tax credits and grants for installing natural gas fuel stations and using vehicles fueled by natural gas.”
The federal Energy Information Administration last year projected that if enough LNG filling stations were built, sales of heavy-duty natural gas vehicles could increase to 275,000 in 2034. In April, Cummins, a leading engine manufacturer, began shipping big new engines that make long runs on natural gas possible. In fact, the move to natural gas could cut the country’s oil import bill.
With about eight million heavy and medium-weight trucks consuming three million barrels of oil a day, that is nearly 15 percent of the total national daily consumption.
The natural gas boom has produced a large amount of inexpensive fuel that burns cleaner, and makes meeting emission standards easier.
Kansas City will have more natural gas pumps soon. The Kansas Gas Service has operated the only place in the metro area where the public could fill up on compressed natural gas, which burns cleaner and is cheaper than gasoline or diesel.
The KS Gas Service outlet in Overland Park has been improved to fill more vehicles faster, and is looking to add more filling stations.
Clean Energy Fuels, which owns and operates natural-gas stations across the country, are nearing a deal with officials to open a filling station in Kansas City. The station would “provide compressed natural gas to city-owned vehicles as well as to other fleets and the public.”
Natural gas is catching on in the U.S. but has much room for improvement. There are about 120,000 natural gas vehicles on American roads, compared with 15.5 million worldwide. The ample amount of domestic natural gas from shale could reduce the country’s dependence on imported oil.
The term “liquefied natural gas” can bring many images to mind, including some explosive ones. But in reality, liquefied natural gas (LNG) is much less volatile or explosive than many other hydrocarbon products including gasoline or diesel.
The video is a great way to show the science behind LNG. IN order for it to become liquid, natural gas needs to be cooled to about minus 260 degrees Fahrenheit in a processing facility, and at that point can be carried around in an insulated container.
According to some analysts, LNG is widely becoming adopted as an industrial fuel, a transportation fuel, and an export.
The United States has gone from a buyer of natural gas to a potential seller after recent natural gas discoveries.
With so much natural gas available in the United States, it’s no wonder companies are making a big push to export the alternative fuel around the world.
“Once dependent on natural gas imports, the United States has gone from a buyer to a potential seller after a flurry of recent natural gas discoveries across the country accessible with new extraction technology.”
Because of shale gas deposits, the price of American natural gas is down to as little as a fifth of the price in other countries, making export an ideal opportunity.
And according to the International Energy Agency, the demand for natural gas is expected to increase by 50 percent over the next 20 years.
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