Friday, November 9, 2007

Natural Gas in Your Car

As gasoline prices reach almost four dollars a gallon in the United States, new ways of getting from point A to point B less expensively become more and more attractive. While many are getting on the hybrid electric automobile bandwagon, one inexpensive and relatively pollutant-free mode of transportation is being overlooked: Natural Gas.

Since the 1990s, most major automakers have offered natural gas powered cars for government and corporate fleets. Natural gas automobiles produce forty percent less hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide than gasoline powered automobiles. Natural gas powered cars are cheaper to produce than the gasoline-electric hybrid automobiles because they do not require the high tech battery packs or expensive dual gas and electric power plants. Because natural gas powered cars are cheaper to produce, they can be offered at lower prices to consumers while maintaining attractive profit margins for the automakers themselves.

While gasoline prices hover around three and a half dollars a gallon, a gallon of natural gas at service stations in California (the highest prices in the nation) is selling for a modest $2.55 a gallon this week. Consumers could get their natural gas for even less by purchasing a home unit made by a manufacturer called FuelMaker that allows the driver to fill their automobile overnight from their home’s own natural gas supply at the cost of $1.25 a gallon. The home unit is called “Phill” and mounts on the garage wall of the hoe and costs about $4000. The purchase price is however offset by being eligible for a $1000 federal tax credit, and in California, another $2000 in local incentives.

While only 56% of the petroleum used in the production of gasoline in the United States comes from North American wells, 98% of the natural gas consumed in the US is produced in North America. Natural gas companies like Triple Diamond Energy Corp produce the clean burning fossil fuel in abundance. Natural gas powered automobiles could help lessen the nation’s dependence on foreign oil.

Natural gas powered cars are currently sold in Europe, Asia, South America, and in other areas around the world. General Motors is even working on new models to be sold in other areas of the world in hopes of widening their consumer base.

Why not in America? Well, only about 1500 fueling stations exist in the United States and while there are 150,000 natural gas powered vehicles in the nation currently, US automakers are not making plans to start new production. US automakers insist the natural gas powered cars just don’t sell, but they must be forgetting the nearly 5 million natural gas powered cars worldwide.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit

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