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CNG vehicles, like electric, to remain a niche market

Michigan Live -- Even with more automakers offering compressed natural gas vehicles to retail customers, officials expect the majority of sales to remain in the fleet market for years to come.

According to analysts, the vehicles being offered by automakers to U.S. retail customers only make sense to a small group of people who are not fleet or commercial customers.

“I don’t want to seem too negative about the consumer vehicles, but the consumer vehicles have to follow the fleet vehicles,” said Richard Kolodziej, president of National Gas Vehicles for America.

Kolodziej’s trade organization, which represents more than 150 companies, environmental groups, and government organizations, estimates there are about 120,000 natural gas vehicles on U.S. roads today and more than 15.2 million worldwide.


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Submitted Nov 15, 2012 By: skb69sa
Category: Daily News Article Discussions > Topics Add to favorite topics  
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Nov 19, 2012 5:53:57 AM

won't go far unless more stations are put forth, but that's a chicken and egg game isn't it?
MAC48
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 11:39:39 AM

It is a fact that 100% electric vehicles fill a very narrow niche market whereas hybrid electric/gas vehicles occupy a much larger though still narrow niche market. The exact same statement is true for CNG vehicles where 100% CNG vehicles fill a niche market that is narrow compared to the much larger bifuel CNG/gasoline niche market. What sets the bifuel CNG/gasoline market apart from the hybrid electric/gas vehicle market are the range and the very short time it takes to refuel a CNG fuel tank at a commercial station.

If anyone is interested in knowing where commercial stations offering CNG fuel are in the US, check out the site below and click on the “location” icon. Note the heavy concentration of consumer CNG stations in Southern California, Oklahoma and the Atlantic Coast states from New Jersey to Massachusetts. Keep watching this web sit CNG locations map as it expands over the next few years.

www.cngnow.com

It is quite obvious that one can go from the East coast to the West coast along the Interstate system using primarily CNG and occasionally gasoline powered travel. The ability of bifuel vehicles to travel whereever one wants to go and refuel in a convenient/reasonable time frame will make the bifuel vehicle market a major segment of the automotive market in the not too distant future IF automakers expand the bifuel concept to all of their lines from mid size sedans to the 1 ton crew cab pickups.
blupupher
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 8:21:14 AM

build affordable CNG/gasoline hybrids and I would get one.
jrs4125
Champion Author Indiana

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Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 7:29:35 AM

CNG is finite, where as electricity can be produced in several differnt ways.
boatfloyd
Champion Author Jacksonville

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Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 12:09:16 AM

At $9,000.00 extra, that will keep them in a special place, by themselves.
rahcat
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 12:04:21 AM

Old news
stpatrickbday
Champion Author Albuquerque

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Message Posted: Nov 16, 2012 12:01:09 AM

Just another excuse to raise gas prices.
Tacodan
Champion Author Cincinnati

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:09:27 PM

hydrogen...............!
badbonita
Champion Author Syracuse

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 11:04:51 AM

Ford also has some of their pickups available as a CNG version as well as some of their vans.
Gmsclecarparts
All-Star Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 10:59:54 AM

QualTekGuy wrote:
"What are the limitations of a CNG vehicle other than filling up?"

The only domestically avail CNG only car is the Honda Civic GX. Limitation wise, its a compact car, not grandma's old Crown Vic. I've ridden in 2 different Civic CNG's & had little complaint, the Civic GX is not a throw your back in the seat small performance car, but with enough power to make it an adequate-great suburban commuter vehicle.

Driving range for the Civic GX on a full 3600psi refill is between 200-250 miles (personal driving style & terrain have an effect on mileage). Other CNG vehicles avail domestically are mainly converted dual fuel big 3 3/4 ton pickups, some Toyota Tundras, and many larger SUV's: Tahoe's, Suburbans, etc. The OKC area has easily the largest concentration of CNG converted pickups & SUV's & factory built Civic GX's. At a local GGE (Gallon of Gasoline Equivalency) prices of $1.39 to 1.50 they are all over the place. GM & Dodge have recently introduced dual fuel factory built 3/4 ton pickups.
crep1291
Champion Author Ottawa

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 10:34:49 AM

Thought CNG is cheap right now, prices will likely double when more and more CNG vehicles get on the road. Prices will triple or quadruple once those LNG starts being exported. This will make CNG more expensive than gasoline.
Gmsclecarparts
All-Star Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 10:18:10 AM

geezrtek wrote: "...The proof of the range issue for EVs is the one car (that I know of) that has a 300 mile range on electric only is the Tesla sedan. Even at $60K, out of reach for most...

"geezrtek, the Tesla S that gets close to a 300 mile range is NOT $60K, more like 106-112K. It has a much larger battery. The $60K version of the Tesla S has a much smaller battery & is not being produced.

[Edited by: Gmsclecarparts at 11/15/2012 10:19:10 AM EST]
Point__man
Champion Author Raleigh

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 10:09:20 AM

Duke Energy has just requested a 14% increase and has another increase planned for early next year. More news like this will kill any plans for EVs in the near future unless solar charging stations and quick charge (or swappable) batteries become an affordable option. Other electric suppliers will follow suit as soon as they see demand rising. CNG is in for similar problems as our reliance on Big Oil switches to alternative fuels ;)

There is no escaping the GREED ;)
geezrtek
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 9:33:07 AM

The difference between EVs and CNG is enough range on the specified fuel (CNG or electrons) to function as well a normal gas vehicle.

The proof of the range issue for EVs is the one car (that I know of) that has a 300 mile range on electric only is the Tesla sedan. Even at $60K, out of reach for most, production for the next year is sold out and there is a waiting list. They can't give away the Chevy Dolt.

The solution to the lack of public recharge/refuel stations for both is bi-fuel capability. As home gas compression units roll out you will see consumers buy CNG vehicles in numbers that dwarf EVs.
QualTekGuy
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 9:20:54 AM

What are the limitations of a CNG vehicle other than filling up?
smokinjoe54
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:48:05 AM

Woouldn't mind a CNG but don't want an EV.
boatmen
Champion Author New York

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:36:01 AM

CNG vehicles should be the wave of the future with the abundance of Natural Gas For get electric the electric companys are Same as Big Oil greedy biches
bruceha2000
Champion Author Vermont

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:33:26 AM

If the manufacturers want to sell the cars, they need a CHEAP compressor people that have access to natural gas can at home can use. And yes, they need CNG stations open to the public.
EXTREMESNOW
Champion Author Medford

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:32:35 AM

Great point miser73.
Janetique
Champion Author Virginia Beach

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:32:28 AM

CNG is a great option. There is a lot of investment now going into CNG fueling infrastructure both for fleets and for the everyday consumer. Development takes time...
bart_reed
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:32:08 AM

Actually, they will get more popular.
miser73
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:31:39 AM

Only for lack of a refueling infrastructure. The horseless carriage once was a niche market too.
fcdriver
Champion Author Tennessee

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:28:01 AM

but one that easier to use for most
MikLamb
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:27:55 AM

I agree, deputydog082.
deputydog082
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:26:50 AM

need the supply & delivery infrastructure to be built for cng cars to take off
1fuelish1
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:25:33 AM

I would have expected the fleets to convert first. The fleet operators have the resources to install fueling stations that will take years to reach the consumer (although the article yesterday reported the development of a home NG compressor for refueling vehicles in driveways).
krzysiek_ck
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:25:02 AM

Time will tell.
Paw5X
Champion Author Gary

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:24:42 AM

I have to agree with GasholeMI
nerde
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:23:39 AM

They market them as a niche product so they can jack up the price
Drill4Petro
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:23:33 AM

Nontheless...CNG has a much brighter future.
GasholeMI
Champion Author Lansing

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:23:04 AM

In my opinion, CNG vehicles will far outpace electric vehicles in the future.
skempton
Champion Author Vermont

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:22:34 AM

There's niche for electric cars too.
Titan_62
Champion Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:22:10 AM

...I don't want one
deerslayer5
Champion Author Minnesota

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:21:26 AM

Ok
justme48
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:19:14 AM

Interesting.
fltdoc
Champion Author Oklahoma

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:18:42 AM

This is the best reason I can think of to purchase one now. The state rebates are still available and likely will be until CNG takes hold. GE is partnering with Chesapeake to produce a compressor to use in the home and the price is projected to be around $500. This is about 80-85% lower than anything available on the market right now. You can fuel your vehicle overnight and if you have a reasonable commute, you won't have to find a commercial fueling station. Of course, it won't be a vehicle to take long trips in, at least not for now.
muquee
Champion Author Harrisburg

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:18:39 AM

Salty up front.
WestMichigan
Champion Author Grand Rapids

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:18:39 AM

Mass markets don't have access to refueling so of course it will stay a niche.
I10Express
Champion Author San Antonio

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:17:08 AM

Would be ok if you didn't have that $11000 up front charge.
TheMeltz
Champion Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:15:43 AM

in order for this to be successful for the consumer, there need to be fueling stations anywhere and everywhere.
StrangeLuv
Champion Author Kansas City

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:15:25 AM

Probably.
rtw777
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:15:13 AM

All it needs is ample filling stations, which will not happen soon.
reff5577
Champion Author Illinois

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:15:04 AM

really
zwsn01
All-Star Author Alabama

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:14:42 AM

If I can find a way to fill up, I will be in that niche market. Also, if some fleets are converted to CNG, the demand for gas & diesel will be lower, helping everyone.
Tnerbeel
Champion Author Houston

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:14:32 AM

Yup, mainly local fleets and municipalities.
Hop1LA
Champion Author Baton Rouge

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:14:30 AM

The vehicles need to be flexible between CNG and gasoline. The technology already exists.
85XJ
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:14:07 AM

I'd seriously consider a bi-fuel passenger car from Chrysler or GM, heck I might even consider one from Ford.
BartBuzz
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:12:10 AM

Until there's a real demand it will stay a niche. The free market will decide unless the government screws it up.
GDAE
Champion Author Wichita

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:11:57 AM

Finally a voice of reason.
naw62
Champion Author Maine

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:11:05 AM

Those type of cars won't make it
91Hilux
Champion Author New Haven

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Message Posted: Nov 15, 2012 8:10:59 AM

If we weren't decades behind the rest of the world with CNG cars, it wouldn't be a 'niche' any longer.

The Big 3 Automakers throw tons of money at legislators to keep the majority of vehicles made by foreign companies out of the US (diesel, CNG, hybrid included) to reduce their competition. That is why we're so far behind the curve with some of the latest technology.
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