There are more than 250 million vehicles on the road in the U.S., and of those only 142,000 are powered by natural gas, T. Boone Pickens said. Pickens, whose plan for autos would initially emphasize heavy-duty trucks, said he’d like to see 1.3 million trucks running on natural gas by 2014. (7/9, #17)

[Editors’ note: in 1990, the Natural Gas Vehicle Association set a target of 10 million CNG vehicles on U.S. roads by the year 2000. They didn’t come close. The Pickens Plan has a steep hill to climb, but it’s a story to follow.]

One thought on “Of 250 Million Vehicles Only 142,000 Are Powered by Natural Gas”

  1. Gasoline originally became the dominant motor fuel for vehicles because gasoline allowed lower tech, faster, and more widely distributed fueling than natural gas. The higher energy density of a liquid, over a gas, also made gasoline more convenient than natural gas. Since you don’t need to fill up as often, people want gasoline vehicles, even though natural gas is cheaper. We are lazy and in a hurry. Unless science makes some major breakthrough in electrical storage, a natural gas vehicle will remain a better choice than a battery one. Batteries are expensive and can fail at the worst possible time. Natural gas burns so clean that engines run on it can last much longer than gasoline engines. A high percentage of all electricity generated will be wasted before it reaches the wheels of any electric car. But it also takes energy to highly compress natural gas to fuel a vehicle. Obviously, a great deal of study is needed to determine the most efficient way to use the remaining fossil fuels, and to develop a national policy to implement it. Ask yourself what will be the future of the electric car after the news of the first lithium battery fire resulting in fatalities hits cable news, especially if children are killed. People could easily view them as ticking time bombs on wheels. Want to park one in your nice attached garage at night? Not me! Tick,tick,tick…

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