Fiat ads in the US try to play up the exotic, sexy side of Italian culture. On the home front in Italy, however, passenger-vehicle sales are marked by something less edgy and quite a bit more practical: the growth of compressed-natural-gas (CNG) powered car sales.
If you've ever wanted a powerplant that looks more like a greeble from a Star Wars spaceship than a block engine, Eco-Motive has your answer. The just-announced dual-fuel "H" engine can burn gasoline or compressed natural gas (CNG).
Crazy Diamond Performance Gets EPA Approval For Conversions
The value proposition for a Crazy Diamond Performance CNG ride was a little bit better before gas prices took a dive in the past month. Still, the Michigan-based company, which converts some of Chevrolet's compact vehicles to run on compressed natural gas, received approval late last month from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for two of its conversion models. And CNG is still pretty cheap.
For folks who prefer to put natural gas directly into their vehicle rather than converting it to electricity first, CNG vehicles offer a cleaner alternative to gasoline power while still using a traditional powertrain. If you're looking for a sedan that runs on CNG, your current options are pretty limited - especially in the US - and you'll almost certainly be taking a look at Honda. The 2015 Honda Civic Natural Gas goes on sale starting November 19 in 37 states.
General Motors is recalling almost 3,200 of its compressed-natural-gas powered utility vans because of possible leaks. GM and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) released a notice last week saying that 3,196 Chevrolet Express and GMC Savana CNG vans are on recall, though no accidents have been reported due to the possible issue. The recall is specifically for vans for model years ranging from 2011 to 2014.
California Ports Test Electric Trucks; Global CNG, LPG Forecasts
Curious to see how the Formula E car swap goes down? During each hour-long race (or ePrix, as the series calls them), drivers have to make a pit stop to switch cars as the battery runs down. Of course, they want to do it as quickly as possible. It's kind of a tricky dance extricating oneself from the cockpit of one car and slipping into the seat of another facing the opposite direction. See the maneuver in the video below and read more at Jalopnik.
Anyone out there who can somehow find a second way to link Pink Floyd to natural gas vehicles gets a prize. Because so far, we have one Michigan-based company called Crazy Diamond Performance (Shine On You Crazy Diamond being a longtime Floyd fave) that's setting out to convert Chevrolet Cruze vehicles to run on compressed natural gas (CNG). All in the name of cheaper fuel and domestic security, of course.
Skoda's second- and third-ever production compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles aren't exactly speed burners, but they are efficient. The Czech automaker, which is owned by Volkswagen, will introduce its Octavia G-TEC and Octavia Combi G-TEC models to most of Europe next month. Skoda's first CNG model was the Citigo, which debuted in 2012.
Soliciting investments to develop a street-legal compressed natural gas (CNG) powered Ford Mustang that can deliver 470 horsepower certainly wouldn't make sense on a site called Indiestopstop. Nope, Indiegogo is the more-appropriately-named site that one Michigan entrepreneur is using to try and crowdfund his CNG 'Stang. He's looking to raise $55,000.
The possibility of $1-a-gallon fuel would make a lot of US governmental entities sit up and take notice. The state of Oklahoma and the city of Dallas are making that happen. Those two entities are buying up a bunch of Ford F-150 pickups retrofitted to run on compressed natural gas (CNG), all in the name of cost savings and emissions reduction.
Lots of US states have implemented some sort of tax incentive program for buyers of electric vehicles. Hawaii, California, Massachusetts and more. One of those others could soon be Texas - land of the famously anti-Tesla dealer laws - where an alternative fuel vehicle rebate is about to go into effect, perhaps as soon as next week.
Currently, the only natural-gas-powered passenger car offered for sale by an OEM in the US is the Honda Civic Natural Gas. Starting this fall, that long-running CNG car will be joined by a CNG-burning 2015 Chevy Impala for both fleet and retail customers. General Motors announced today that the car will start at $37,385, plus an $825 destination charge. That comes to $38,210 before taxes and options.
Chevrolet and GMC have clued us in to pricing of the bi-fuel option for the 2015 Silverado and Sierra 2500HD CNG and 3500HD CNG pickups: it starts at $9,500; we're still missing the rest of the pricing inferred by the word "starts," however. If you remember from the Chicago Auto Show introduction, the 6.0-liter V8 puts out 360 horsepower and 380 pound-feet of torque when drinking gas, 301 hp and 333 lb-ft when inhaling CNG.
Always a venue for the debut of new trucks, configurations and technologies, Chevrolet has chosen the Chicago Auto Show as the place to roll out its 2015 Silverado 2500 HD CNG work truck. That "CNG" of course stands for "Compressed Natural Gas," the second fuel, in addition to gasoline, that the Silverado is able to run on.
Using compressed natural gas as vehicle fuel has a number of inherent advantages – it's cleaner and more affordable, meaning that for people with fleets of vehicles to manage (companies, municipalities and the like), the alternative fuel can mean big savings and a clearer conscience.
As promised, the 2014 Honda Civic is about to get a little green update. A hybrid gas-electric version will join the standard 2014 Civic in Honda showrooms nationwide tomorrow and a natural gas-powered model will join the party on February 15th, but only in 37 states.
The Ford Motor Company is getting competitive on the compressed natural gas (CNG) truck front. While Detroit counterparts General Motors and Chrysler have a head start, Ford has begun manufacturing its 2014 F-150 – the first CNG/LPG-capable half-ton pickup – and the CNG engine will be extended to eight of its commercial vehicles.
Mazda has received a tremendous amount of public and industry praise in the last few years, following up the successful introduction of its Skyactiv technology (powertrain and otherwise), with strong products like CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, the Mazda3. At the Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda has taken yet another step forward with Skyactiv and the 3, showing the compact (called "Axela" in Japan) with an all-new compressed natural gas engine in the Skyactiv-CNG Concept.
Sales of natural-gas powered big rigs could jump as much as fivefold this year as falling prices for both natural gas and the carbon fuel tanks required for such trucks come down, the Wall Street Journal says.
Mazda has made huge gains in its competitive set with the introduction of its Skyactiv technologies, and the Japanese automaker appears to have no plans on slowing down. While we're still waiting for the Mazda6 Skyactiv-D diesel to go on sale in the US, Mazda announced that it will debut new Skyactiv-Hybrid and Skyactiv-CNG versions of the Mazda3 (standard US-spec model shown above) at next month's Tokyo Motor Show.