SANTA CRUZ COUNTY REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION
NATURAL GAS VEHICLE FACT SHEET
·Natural gas is a mixture of hydrocarbons, mainly methane.Methane is extracted from gas wells and
can also be captured from landfills.Currently 100% of the natural gas we use is found in North America .
·There are two forms of natural gas vehicles (NGVs) that are used
for vehicles: compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquified natural gas (LNG).CNG vehicles are currently more common
than LNG, but LNG may become more popular in the future due to the benefits of
higher energy density and the resulting extended driving range.
·Methane burns very cleanly and efficiently.Therefore, natural gas emissions are
much lower than those from gasoline-powered vehicles.The latest factory-built NGVs meet the
lowest level emissions classifications set by the California Air Resources
Board.Overall emissions average
80% less than reformulated gasoline.
·NGVs are the same as gasoline vehicles, except for the fuel
source.Natural gas is compressed
or liquified and stored in cylinders in the vehicle.From the cylinder, the natural gas is
mixed with air and flows into the engine=s combustion chamber.
·Refueling can be done from a small dispenser at home (called Atime fill@), but more convenient
Afast fills@ are available at public
fueling stations and require only 3-6 minutes.
·The cost of natural gas averages $.80 to $1.05 for an amount
equivalent to a gallon of gasoline.
·The driving range is usually 120 to 180 miles depending on the
vehicle and driving conditions.
·NGVs cost anywhere from $3,500 to $7,000 more than traditional
gasoline vehicles. Conversion kits are available for light duty vehicles but are
usually not considered economically feasible.
·Many companies including Daimler Chrysler, Ford, General
Motors, Honda and Toyota are manufacturing NGVs.
·There are currently over 130 NGV fueling stations in
California.As the number of
public refueling sites increase, NGVs will become a more viable option for
·Santa Cruz Metro, the county=s public transit operator,
designated CNG as the fuel for all its new bus purchases. The Metro bus fleet
will be converted to CNG over time (www.scmtd.com)
·Local government agencies in Santa Cruz County have
invested in CNG.The County of
Santa Cruz and the City of Watsonville own a number of CNG fleet vehicles and
operate CNG fueling stations for their vehicles.
information on all types of alternative fuel vehicles can be found on the
site is the Alternative Fuel Vehicle website at