Performance and Costs

 

How do NGVs perform? Natural gas vehicles are similar to gasoline or diesel vehicles with regard to power, acceleration, and cruising speed. The driving range of NGVs is generally less than that of comparable gasoline and diesel vehicles because, with natural gas, less overall energy content can be stored in the same size tank as the more energy-dense gasoline or diesel fuels. Extra natural gas storage tanks or the use of LNG can help increase range for larger vehicles.

In heavy-duty vehicles, dual-fuel, compression-ignited engines are slightly more fuel-efficient than spark-ignited dedicated natural gas engines. However, a dual-fuel engine increases the complexity of the fuel-storage system by requiring storage of both types of fuel.

How much do NGVs cost? Light-duty NGVs cost $5,000 to $7,000 more than comparable gasoline vehicles, and heavy-duty NGVs cost more than their counterparts by $30,000 or more. The price depends on the fuel-tank capacity and whether the vehicle is produced by an OEM or converted to run on natural gas. However, government incentives are available to offset NGV costs. For more information, visit the AFDC's Incentives and Laws section at www.afdc.energy.gov.

How much does natural gas cost? Historically, the average retail price of natural gas has been lower than the price of gasoline or diesel.

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