Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is leading a coalition of 22 states to buy up to 10,000 new compressed natural gas cars and pickups per year. The big idea is to present joint bids that would spur production, encouraging automakers to build CNG vehicles at their assembly plants instead of converting them from existing vehicles after the fact. Hickenlooper says this production volume is enough to force a change. "If you do it off the assembly line, it's hardly any additional cost," he told the Detroit News.

Hickenlooper and some of his governor colleagues have been at this campaign for a few months. In April, he and 12 other governors sent letters to automakers saying they were committed to exploring ways to purchase more CNG vehicles for their state fleets. In July, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, Hickenlooper and other officials even met with U.S. automakers in Detroit to ask for increased CNG vehicle production. The states involved here include Oklahoma, Colorado, Wyoming, Pennsylvania, Utah, Maine, New Mexico, West Virginia, Kentucky, Texas, Ohio, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Participating states want to influence the market by establishing CNG demand so U.S. automakers design and sell vehicles that would be of interest to public fleets and private sector consumers here. Currently, there isn't much in the way of CNG product offerings in the U.S. For example, the Honda Civic Natural Gas is the only CNG passenger car from an OEM. After years of limited availability, it is now for sale nationwide. As for trucks, General Motors and Chrysler have added to their bi-fuel CNG pickups lines this year, and Ford offers fleets a few choices. There are about 10 million natural gas vehicles (NGVs) on roads around the world, with fewer than 200,000 in the U.S. These NGVs are being fueled at about 1,000 stations throughout the country.

Ten thousand new NGVs might sound like a lot, but it's a small number compared to around 14.5 million new light duty gasoline and diesel vehicles expected to be sold in the U.S. this year. Still, it would be a five-percent increase in the NGV fleet. For alternative fuel vehicles breaking into a petroleum-dominated transportation market, that's something.


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  • 20 Comments
      bigbenaugust
      • 2 Years Ago
      Honda: sell my family a CNG CR-V!
      DaveMart
      • 2 Years Ago
      Meanwhile in France: 'Montebourg said that to support the purchase of zero- and low-emission vehicles, the maximum bonus on electric vehicles will be increased from €5,000 to €7,000 in 2013 and the bonus for hybrid vehicles will be doubled to €4,000. Corporate and public purchasers also will qualify for the bonus in 2013, and Montebourg said the government will ensure that 25 percent of government vehicles will be electric or hybrid.' And: 'A new 50 million euro investment program to support electric vehicles and charging infrastructure was launched Wednesday by French transport, environment, energy and finance officials.' http://ens-newswire.com/2012/10/05/france-invests-50-million-euros-in-electro-mobility/ Hopefully the 25% will be plug in hybrids, not just regular hybrids. In any case we are talking about serious numbers of vehicles.
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @DaveMart
        @ DaveMart Well done France ! But then, France doesn't have the vast Natural Gas reserves of North America. CNG/LPG is less pollutant, available, economic, and locally produced. CNG/LPG, means jobs and US prosperity. These are pretty compelling reasons for State Governors !
          Doug
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Mart Do CNG hybrids exist?
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          And how many of these wind farms immediately close their doors and shut down once the subsidies run out?
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          Funny how the "right" wing NEVER said, Wind and Solar gave us: - Less Pollution. - Available - Economic - Locally produced. - Wind and Solar mean US JOBS and US Proserity, WITH NO CANCER. - With CLEAN WATER, to feed our Drought Sticken FARMs. Those are pretty compelling reasons.
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          France has unknown but likely large supplies of shale gas. It has however passed legislation preventing their exploitation, in another triumph for eco-loons. Don't get me wrong, I support the move by these governors to go for natural gas. In my view it is a very good idea to set up a network, which at minimum would provide a good alternative for fleets and heavy vehicles. Without a working tips system here I thought it worthwhile to post this French news though.
      Smith Jim
      • 2 Years Ago
      Natural gas has been called part of the solution to climate change because natural gas results in half as much CO2 emissions as energy from coal. The problem with natural gas is something called methane leakage. Methane is the main component of natural gas. Methane has 25 times more warming effect as CO2. Natural gas has the same warming effect as energy from coal if the leakage rate is between 2% and 3%. Some experts believe the leakage rate could be 4% or higher but nobody knows for sure because the natural gas industry is suing the EPA to keep leakage data from being made public. http://www.npr.org/2011/04/14/135417679/natural-gas-may-not-be-clean-energy-source http://www.npr.org/2012/05/17/151545578/frackings-methane-trail-a-detective-story Even if the leakage rate were ZERO natural gas would result in 10 to 50 times more greenhouse gas emissions as energy from wind and solar.
        DaveMart
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        'Even if the leakage rate were ZERO natural gas would result in 10 to 50 times more greenhouse gas emissions as energy from wind and solar.' That makes it even more of a shame that any system using wind and solar is utterly dependent on using gas to make up for variability. Outside of the fantasy world of the greens, the reality of this can be seen in the massive new construction of coal plants and increased gas burn in Germany, with it's ludicrous decision to stop production at plants in no danger whatsoever of tsunami.
          Smith Jim
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          I'd like to apologize for that rash remark. Let me tell you what I really think. I also used to be skeptical of climate change caused by fossil fuel emissions. When I retired I had lots of free time on my hands. I decided to find out more about climate change. I spent literally hundreds of hours reading about the subject. The evidence for human caused climate change is overwhelming. I hope this does not sound arrogant but I'm an electrical engineer and I believe I'm better than the average at being able to sort out the the real science from the BS. And there is a lot of BS out there. I read a book called, "Merchants of Doubt". This book goes into detail and names names of people who are paid large sums of money to write bogus "scientific" papers to sow doubt about climate change. It was a real eye opener. Here's one example of something a climate change skeptic might believe. I used to believe it. I used to argue that volcanoes overwhelm fossil fuel emissions. I made that claim without doing any serious research. It turns out the complete opposite is the truth. Fossil fuel emission overwhelm volcanic emissions 130 to 1. (80 to 1 in a year of high volcanic activity and 270 to 1 in a year of low volcanic activity) This is according to USGS. http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/hazards/gas/climate.php
          DaveMart
          • 2 Years Ago
          @DaveMart
          Many thanks for the gracious apology. I am not a global warming sceptic - rash assumptions are not wise. However, I am in favour of a massive build out of nuclear power, which is proven to vastly reduce CO2, and against the hysterical claims of Greenpeace et al on the alleged dangers of this, A force 9 earthquake and a 15 metre tsunami hitting old and rather poorly designed reactors and resulting in no confirmed radiation deaths to date sounds like the best imaginable stress test successfully passed to me. All the nonsense about how terrible the exclusion zone is simply complaining that extraordinarily high safety standards are being used. It is no 'zone of death' as hysterics would have us believe, but a result of the application of entirely different safety standards to anything used elsewhere. If death and illness were the criteria, every city in the world should be evacuated before Fukushima due to the proven mass deaths every year from air pollution. It is also simply a fact that at anywhere north or south of equatorial regions wind and sun are indeed utterly dependent on gas and coal to provide power, and that decreases in CO2 emissions are marginal if any compared to spending the same money on better insulation and so on. The commitment to these sources in fact builds in decades of fossil fuel burn, as enormous sums are being spent to build plants with that life span. That is not to say that wind and sun can't be used, but the criteria is that the sun has to be shining at roughly the same time of year as the power is needed. Diurnal variation can be managed by storage. Wind is OK at 2-3% of the grid, and nonsense at higher penetrations. I have been a supporter of solar power in particular for 40 years, and it is deeply distressing to see it highjacked by ideologues as a universal solution, out of a hatred and incomprehension of nuclear power, which clouds the very real and useful contribution it can make in the tropics where in future most people will live. Simply, solar is fine in Cairo. It is innumerate nonsense in Germany. Where mostly deployed at present it is a fake solution to CO2 emissions and climate change, and an excuse to avoid deploying nuclear, which is what can actually do the job.
        Ford Future
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Smith Jim
        No, natural gas, is only a solution for the oil industry. These natural gas fracking sites leak methane into the atmosphere, pollute your water, and with special "secret" fracking fluid [ Oil Refinery Waste ] give you community cancer. The oil industry asks: Are you a sucker?
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          Nature abhors a vacuum. DF is gone...
          Marcopolo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Ford Future
          @ Ford Future I've said it before, but it's worth repeating ! Are your hysterical, wild outbursts, part of some anti-green, anti-democrat secret campaign to discredit Pres. Obama's re-election? Is you purpose to give undecided voters the impression that all environmentalists are crazed lunatic's, sustained only by mad conspiracy theories ? If so, you are doing a good job !
      Ford Future
      • 2 Years Ago
      CNG is only projected to be cheap for 2 more years. Republican sucker govs.
        pmpjunkie01
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Why do you have to make this a partisan subject. Even if it's not cheaper, it is still better since it keeps jobs and money in the US rather than sending it elsewhere.
          EZEE
          • 2 Years Ago
          @pmpjunkie01
          And all the democrats that are on board as well?
          Ford Future
          • 2 Years Ago
          @pmpjunkie01
          You'll get jobs, in your CANCER Centers. Lots of jobs. And guess what, your Republican Gov. will pass laws that your physician cannot tell you you got cancer from your local polluted water, FRacked water. Look at PA. We've got 7 years to go before Solar is the cheapest source of energy. Are you willing to kill your community now, instead of wait 7 years?!?
        EZEE
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ford Future
        Lets see...the guy leading this, hickenberger, is a democrat from Colorado. Oklahoma, republican, West Virginia, democrat, Texas, republican, Pennsylvania, republican, Kentucky, democrat, utah, republican... Hate much? Let me reword it like an MSNBC story: Gifted, forward thinking democrats, in a effort to save brown skinned Muslim handicapped gay shell chair bound blind children with AIDS are working to clean up the environment and provide jobs to women and minorities. Meanwhile, republicans are doing the same thing, except to help their Wall Street fat cat big oil buddies at haliburton and kill big bird while keeping Obama in high altitude areas so he has another disastrous debate performance later on, because it was the altitude that caused his disastrous debate performance, and no other reason, like preparation.
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 2 Years Ago
          @EZEE
          His name is Hickenlooper, and he is completely bought out by oil and natural gas interests. I lived in Colorado for a bit and it's quite stunning what the fossil fuel industry can get away with out there. Democrat, Republican, doesn't matter - most of them are bought and paid for by one industry or another.
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