• Oct 16, 2010
V-Vehicles started making noises back in 2006 about building an environmentally friendly car that ran on compressed natural gas, and doing it here in the U.S. The company is backed by oilman billionaire T. Boone Pickens and the VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the latter of which also backs Fisker. Its head designer is Tom Matano of Mazda Miata and RX-7 fame. In May of this year, Pickens was still talking about the car being on the way, even though all anyone's ever seen of it is a few teased angles, like the headlight above.

It looks like things are finally getting serious, though. V-Vehicles had planned to build its car in a former General Motors plant in Louisiana, but that fell through. Now the company's been rechristened Next Autoworks and the top spot has been taken by Kathleen Ligocki, whose resume includes top positions at Ford, Tower Automotive and Mexico's GS Salinas. It'll probably be a while before Next is in a position to announce anything, but with an experienced auto and turnaround veteran in the lead, they've got a much better chance of hanging around at all.

[Source: Inside Line]


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  • 15 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      watch the documentary Gasland about how nasty natural gas mining is. and it's also a fossil fuel which will continue to make global warming worse, you know weather like katrina, flooding of low lands, desertification of south central usa.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dZe1AeH0Qz8
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have hope for this compressed air car.

      I hear CNG burns so clean engines would last twice as long and need little maintenance.

      I'm pretty sure I've seen some CNG powered civics driving around.
      • 4 Years Ago
      CNG works. We used it on farm vehicles years ago and it works great.
      Cheap clean abundant domestically. Ford has now put heavy duty liners in super duty truck for future conversion option in '11 models. Calf Rangers have CNG option '10
      The tank size seems to be the only challenge. Why send billions to the middle East?
      • 4 Years Ago
      chrysler for years offered cng cars.....wonder if they still do?
      • 4 Years Ago
      You all got me questioning, soooo...One Gasoline gallon equivalent (energy available) for Ethanol is 1.5 gallons. The same 1GGE for Compressed Natural Gas is 3.82 gallons - at a storage pressure of 3600 PSI ! So, before even considering a distribution system so you can fill up, you need a high-pressure vessel for a fuel tank almost 4 times the capacity of your present gasoline tank, the hi-press tank's additional weight and structure requirements, and plumbing within the vehicle and for refilling that will handle, SAFELY for the common driver, 3600 pound pressures, and allow quick filling, as gasoline does now. CNG seems well suited to present applications like local delivery vehicles, transit busses, taxis, etc. where fueling is at a central location, the vehicles are large (for tank size and weight), refueling isn't time-critical, can be done by "trained" personnel and mileage is limited and "round-trip" Perhaps the problems can be overcome for general use, but time and competition from other energy sources will probably limit CNG to current uses. JMO-YMMV
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yeah, somewhere I saw an "expert" say, to give a vehicle the same range as with gasoline, the CNG tank would be so big that there would be little space for passengers.
      Tires
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am curious to learn more.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I wish certain things were artificially subsidized and legislated so that we could have a bunch of options. We'd probably have butanol, CNG, hydrogen, and electric, in additional to diesel and gasoline... and a bunch of other options I don't know about (except ethanol, of course, because a free and rational market would never make such a stupid decision). People would have options, and eventually, the best one would emerge victorious. Too bad we insist on making the energy market ineffective and inefficient.
        • 4 Years Ago
        what is so stupid about ethanol? The only stupidity was using corn to make it. You can make ethanol out of algae too. If one were to take otherwise useless land and convert them into artificial lakes for the express purpose of growing algae you could make a lot of ethanol without impacting the food market.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Danget. I meant "weren't," not "were" as incorrectly stated in my post above.
      • 4 Years Ago
      We lost the plant here in Louisiana, due in part to the unions. They were caught threatening people who didn't want to join the unions.
        • 4 Years Ago
        You talking about the ex-Guide lighting plant in Monroe, or the Shreveport truck assembly plant?

        I hadn't heard any allegations along those lines at the Guide plant, which is where V-Vehicle was going to produce the cars, and I had friends who had worked out there for a while.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I live in Monroe and I was really hoping that this would happen.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Always wondered why CNG wasn't a more readily available option for automobiles. It burns clean, ICE engines (fairly) readily accept it with a few modifications, we've got a gagillion cubic feet of it in the US alone.

      Rather than looking at electrifying/hybridizing everything (involving immense amounts of rare earth metals), why isn't this option more strongly considered?
        • 4 Years Ago
        CNG is very popular in Germany. Most buses run on it, and some carmakers offer CNG variants of their cars. It's really a good alternative to regular fuel.
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