Numerous automakers have committed serious R&D resources to producing efficient, alternative-fuel vehicles, but several challenges still lie ahead. In the realm of natural gas-fueled vehicles, developing a widespread supporting infrastructure of filling stations is essential for success, but it's not a simple matter. Ward's Auto succinctly sums up the challenges that natural gas vehicles face (stop us if you're heard this one before):
It's the classic chicken-and-egg puzzle: To what extent does a widespread network of filling stations need to be established offering compressed- and liquefied-natural gas in order for a mass market of vehicles using these alternative fuels to develop?
It's a concern that rings true for battery-powered vehicles as well, but manufacturers of charging stations, with support from governments, cities, corporations and others, have already committed to installing thousands of chargers across the globe. In many countries, natural gas filling stations haven't garnered nearly as much support. Perhaps, natural gas' lack of support stems from an absence of global standards.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has finally stepped in to change that. The ISO has allotted itself just two years to create natural gas standards that will govern over fuel station design, construction, operation, equipment, safety devices and maintenance. It's not guaranteed that the implementation of these guidelines will boost the support for natural gas vehicles, but with standards in place, fueling stations found here, there, and everywhere else, will be nearly identical. At the very least, this is a step in the right direction.

[Source: Ward's Auto | Image: ecastro – C.C. License 2.0]

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