T. Boone Pickens returned to the AFVI stage to give the expo's opening talk about, surprise, natural gas and transportation. We'll have a report of that event up in a bit, but we got a chance to ask him a few questions about things he didn't speak about from the stage, including his involvement with the mysterious and possibly troubled V-Vehicles. Pickens told AutoblogGreen that, "I don't even keep up with that, someone else does." This isn't to say Pickens doesn't know anything about the company's plan to make efficient vehicles: he said V-Vehicles will be adding natural gas powertrains in the future. "It's in their plans," he said. All he would say about the vehicle's design is that it looks, "all right."

Pickens' partner, Andrew Littlefair, the president and CEO of Clean Energy, was on hand once again and told AutoblogGreen that the years of work Pickens has done pushing natural gas have been paying off, if not exactly right away. Littlefair said:
The effects are things like AT&T announcing to do 8,000 vehicles. Two years ago, there was one heavy-duty truck, now there are seven different models. There were [natural gas] trash trucks in three states, now it's 12 trucks. Hundreds of stations have been built. There still needs to be more product, though.
The real expansion in using natural gas for transportation has taken place outside of the U.S., though. Littlefair said that the major automakers are selling a lot of models in Europe and South America, but the only passenger vehicle you can buy in the U.S. is the Honda Civic GX. Littlefair said:
In the last two-and-a-half years, we've gone from five million natural gas vehicles worldwide to 12 million, and we've seen an uptick here, too, but not that great. You can't base it all on looking on the OEMs, because our guys have been, frankly, out to lunch on it.
As for making a CNG hybrid, both Pickens and Littlefair think it's a bad idea.
You have a fuel that is cleaner, cheaper and domestic. Why do you want to go make it more expensive and put a battery with it? We have the Honda GX and in Europe there are 16 natural gas vehicles. We don't need to go try out something else. Just run it on natural gas. It's 130 octane, you can increase the pressure ratio and you got what you need.

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