Greater reliance on natural gas is a healthier and more economical alternative to petroleum fuels. Natural gas vehicles operating in California in 2012 displaced about 160 million gallons of petroleum fuels. We believe NGVs can displace more than 1 billion gallons of gasoline and diesel by 2020.
Natural gas as a transportation fuel has several key advantages:
About 98 percent of the natural gas Americans use comes from North America. About 84 percent is produced domestically; more than 90 percent of imports come from Canada and Mexico. And the U.S. Energy Information Administration forecasts a sharp decline in imports as the domestic supply grows.
Natural gas fuels typically cost less than gasoline or diesel, and high-use NGV fleets with fuel contracts can pay substantially less, depending on the volatile price of oil. Natural gas prices are projected to increase much less than petroleum prices over the next 25 years, widening the cost advantage.
It’s in ample supply.
North America has about a 120-year supply of natural gas at the current consumption level, based on data from a 2010 IHS CERA study. California’s increasing use of renewable fuels for energy generation will free up more than enough natural gas for the fuel’s highest anticipated use in transportation. And renewable natural gas could constitute a significant portion of NGV fuel in the coming years.
Photo courtesy L.A. Metro, ©LACMTA