NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Americans Open to Natural Gas-Powered Vehicles

July 5, 2011

Americans are open to natural gas-powered vehicles, says Raghavan Mayur, president of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence.  

  • In a recent TechnoMetrica survey, 70 percent of Americans said that they are familiar with natural gas as a motor fuel and nearly half of those who are aware would consider buying a vehicle that runs on natural gas.
  • These days natural gas costs about $2 a gallon compared to $4 a gallon for gasoline.
  • The outlook for natural gas vehicles in the global market is strong with the number of vehicles expected to reach 28.7 million units by 2015.

In the past, the industry slighted natural gas vehicles because the United States had a low supply of the fuel.  Now, with the discovery of vast fields of natural gas deposits, which are estimated to last for the next 100 years, interest has ticked up.  The automobile industry is starting to take notice of the merits of natural gas.

  • First, it is abundant in the United States and gives off a great deal of energy when it burns.
  • Second, a vehicle designed to run on natural gas is clean and has few emissions with lower levels of harmful byproducts.
  • Third, since it is lighter than air, it will dissipate in an accident with no flames and no run-off into streams.
  • Fourth, using natural gas in vehicles will decrease U.S. dependency on foreign oil.

Granted, the automobile industry has to climb a few hurdles, but they are doable.  To succeed, the industry needs to embark on a major educational effort to further educate the public to the advantages of natural gas and natural gas cars, says Mayur.

Source: Raghavan Mayur, "Drivers Warm to Natural Gas," Investor's Business Daily, June 29, 2011.

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