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Natural Gas Gets Boost from President Obama

But automakers, energy suppliers still need come aboard.

by on Jan.30, 2014

Obama omitted battery power during his speech, discussing alternatives such as CNG, instead.

It’s being billed as a cleaner alternative to gasoline and one in wide supply thanks to new fracking technology – and now, President Barack Obama is lending his support to the use of compressed natural gas as an automotive fuel.

The question is whether that will be enough to move automakers and energy suppliers who have so far been reluctant to commit their resources to adding new CNG-powered vehicles to their line-up and the fueling stations needed to power them.

Fuel for Thought!

After coming into office in January 2009, the Obama Administration seemed single-mindedly focused on battery power, shifting funds away from other promising technologies like hydrogen fuel-cells. But that has begun to change during the Obama second term and during his State of the Union address this week, the president put a focus on CNG.


GM to Launch CNG-Powered Impala

Energy security “more than a one-off moonshot,” declares CEO Akerson.

by on Oct.16, 2013

CEO Dan Akerson says numerous alternatives to gas-power will be needed, including CNG.

General Motors will launch a new CNG-powered version of its big Chevrolet Impala sedan next year, making it the first maker to offer the availability to use the cheaper, cleaner fuel in a full-size model.

The announcement came in a speech by GM CEO Dan Akerson during a national summit meant to mark the 40th anniversary of the first Mideast oil boycott. That defining event led to skyrocketing gas prices, lines at U.S. gas stations and a serious economic recession. It also forced Detroit makers to close a number of factories and gave the Japanese auto industry its first real crack at the American market.

Fuel Your Automotive Knowledge!

Today, even with fuel prices having dipped slightly in recent months, there is strong demand for alternatives, and while much of the attention is on battery-based vehicles, there’s also growing interest in the use of CNG which has become widely available with the increased use of fracking.

During his speech, Akerson stressed that a variety of different solution ultimately will be needed, warning that, “energy security won’t come from a one-off moonshot.”


GM, Chrysler Launch Natural Gas Pickup Options

Proponents push for shift to cheap, plentiful petrol alternative.

by on Mar.06, 2012

Supplier IMPCO Automotive will handle conversions of GM vans and pickups to use low-cost, cleaner CNG.

It’s a good week for those who’d like to see American motorists shift from imported oil to the plentiful domestic supply of natural gas.  Chrysler plans to announce today that it will offer an NGV option for its big Ram pickup – following the lead of General Motors which will offer bi-fuel packages for both its Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra.

Momentum has slowly been growing for natural gas power after years of neglect.  That appears to reflect several factors – notably the increased availability of the fuel from domestic sources, the fact that CNG produces less CO2 per mile than petroleum products, and the rapidly rising cost of gasoline.

News Now!

Until recently, Honda was the only maker marketing natural gas-powered vehicles – notably a dedicated version of the 2012 Civic model. But the list could grow rapidly – though the biggest challenge remains finding ready locations to fill up.

That’s led GM to go the bi-fuel route with the heavy-duty versions of its Chevy Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups.  Motorists will be able to choose between CNG and regular gasoline on the fly.  When one tank runs dry they’ll be able to hot a switch and keep going, something that should be doubly appealing to work truck users who want to hold down costs but avoid service disruptions.