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Certified Vehicle Conversions
The number and variety of factory-ready compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles and conversion-eligible CNG vehicles is increasing. The majority of light- and medium-duty CNG vehicles in operation around the U.S. today resulted from a conversion process or retrofit performed by qualified installers utilizing certified after-market kits manufactured by a variety of reputable companies across the nation.
Today, there are two types of CNG fuel systems available:
• Dedicated vehicles or conversions that run solely on CNG and normally have a fuel capacity equal to or larger than the original gasoline or diesel tank.
• Bi-fuel vehicles that have the ability to run on either CNG or gasoline/diesel. These bi-fuel vehicles typically retain their original gasoline/diesel tank and are retrofitted with an additional, smaller-capacity CNG tank.
Typically, certified installers will only perform a CNG conversion on new or nearly new vehicles. CNG conversion kits must meet stringent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements. Different states have different requirements on vehicle emissions, so please check whether your state follows EPA or CARB guidelines before purchasing or converting your vehicle.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) can fuel everything from vans and shuttles to transit buses, school buses and semitrucks. In fact, CNG-powered vans and shuttles are already in use in major cities and airports, saving money on fuel and reducing emission levels. Since CNG is a cleaner fuel than diesel or gasoline, engine wear is also reduced, allowing a vehicle to last longer.
Fleet operators are discovering the benefits of CNG through lower operating and life-cycle costs, as well as reduced air pollution. Vehicles in the fleet sector are typically high mileage vehicles, so the fuel savings from CNG vs. gasoline or diesel is substantial over the life of a vehicle. Plus, OEM’s are investing large amounts of resources in natural gas-powered vehicles to meet increased demand.
More than half of the CNG fueling stations in the U.S. are available for public use; others are for fleet vehicles only. As consumers demand more CNG vehicles, America’s refueling infrastructure (both private and public fueling sites) are quickly growing to meet demand – particularly with greater emphasis on federal incentives for fuel retailers, as well as automakers and consumers.
State governments are also adopting incentives to encourage CNG retailers to expand and add more stations nationwide. As consumers, we must demonstrate demand for these stations by urging our leaders to pass legislation providing financial incentives that mean business.
CNG stations are starting to emerge in some cities for public and private use. Public support will help drive the switch to this fuel alternative – and create strong demand for CNG pumps at service stations across the country.
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