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 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: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.
As for making a CNG hybrid, both Pickens and Littlefair think it's a bad idea.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.
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.