August 6, 2013

Natural gas organizations bring bi-fuel passenger vehicles closer to “Here and Now”

By Kate Kalnin

A campaign backed by America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA) and the American Gas Association (AGA) has set out to offer more options to consumers looking for natural gas powered passenger vehicles.

The Drive Natural Gas initiative and its “Add Natural Gas” campaign promote just that - the concept of being able to choose to “add natural gas” when purchasing a new car.

From Left to Right: 2012 Honda CR-V EX 2WD, 2012, 2012 BMW X3 XDrive, 2012 GMC Acadia Denali
Photo Credit: Gladstein, Neandross & Associates
In partnership with brands such as Honda, GM, BMW, Ford and Hyundai, Add Natural Gas is showing people that this plentiful resource as a transportation fuel has potential for more than just fleets and heavy duty trucks.

Kathryn Clay, Executive Director of the Drive Natural Gas campaign explains some of the “driving” motives behind the push. “Europeans currently have many options when it comes to natural gas vehicle choices and we think American consumers deserve more choices too when it comes to the fuels that power their vehicles.” Add Natural Gas is designed to show a vision to American consumers of what natural gas can be.

The campaign features bi-fuel converted vehicles from six different manufacturers. Specifically, six types of passenger vehicles ranging from a sports car to a full-size SUV. The purpose, Kathryn says, is to show the potential in both the manufacturing category and vehicle type category. 

The first three cars from left to right: 2012 Ford Mustang GT, 2012 Hyundai Sonata Limited, 2012 Chrysler 300C AWD
Photo Credit: Gladstein, Neandross & Associates
With each vehicle conversion, the engineering team focused on maintaining its stock performance specs to make it a fair comparison with the demo vehicles’ original counterparts. Something Kathryn says is of utmost importance when considering taking on this campaign.

“We made it so consumers wouldn’t have to make compromises in performance, handling, look and feel and of course storage space," she said. "We designed these vehicles so that the actual tank does not impede on the trunk space.” By maintaining the original particulars of each prototype’s gasoline-fueled equivalent, Add Natural Gas aims to dispel any suggestions of NGVs not being able to “match up.”

Aside from creating a buzz around four-wheel passenger vehicles adopting natural gas technology, the venture also supports the development of infrastructure, both on the road and at home. 

“We are seeing exciting announcements from companies like GE and Whirlpool pertaining to at-home fueling appliances,” says Kathryn. “Our vision is that those types of companies will compete and bring those prices down, making the appliances available at big box stores where people buy their TV’s and other home appliances.” At-home fueling equipment allows NGV owners to fill up using their home’s own gas line, an attractive quality while the roadside infrastructure is being expanded.

While these vehicles are only prototypes at the moment, the Add Natural Gas team says that they have high expectations for natural gas as a key transportation fuel, along with the advent of more passenger cars with corresponding bi-fuel technology.

Check out the campaign:

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for sharing this! I have been looking at some used Chrysler trucks and I have been looking for something that is fuel efficient since it seems like the price of gas is going to increase pretty soon. I am trying to save money any way I can so fuel efficient cars and trucks are the answer.

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