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Natural gas is an up-and-coming energy source all over the county, and it’s becoming a popular choice for fueling cars! Natural gas vehicles have far fewer emissions than cars powered by gasoline, making them a great choice for the environment. Plus, since this fuel source mostly comes from here in the United States, it reduces our dependence on foreign oil. But many people don’t know about or don’t understand these vehicles. With a little research, you’ll see that they are here to stay – and with good reason! Read on to learn what you need to know about them so you won’t be surprised when you see one on the road!

What are natural gas vehicles?

These cars are just like any other car on the market, except they run on a different fuel. They come in many different models and sizes (mid-size vehicles, trucks, etc.). You can still have all the features you’re used to in a regular car – you’ll just be running on a different fuel.

What are the benefits of driving one?

As mentioned above, these cars are a much better choice for the environment in terms of emissions. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, these vehicles put out six to 11 percent lower amounts of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during a fuel life cycle as compared to gasoline. With all the cars on the road today, you can imagine the difference a switch to this fuel would Petroleum make!

How do they work?

According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Data Center, these vehicles work by using either compressed (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG). LNG is more typically used for long-distance travel, while CNG is better for local driving. The cars come in dedicated (completely natural gas-powered), bi-fuel (can run on either natural gas or gasoline), and dual-fuel systems (run on natural gas but use diesel to start). They basically function the same way your average car does, just with a different fuel source.

Do people actually use them?

Yes! In fact, several big-name companies are switching their trucks to this fuel source. Frito-Lay added 67 CNG trucks to their fleet, and Waste Management plans to add 35 to its Houston, Texas fleet. Regular people drive them too. The 2012 Honda Civic is one of the natural gas vehicles that are affordable to consumers!

Can I save money by using CNG or LNG in my car?

Buying a vehicle that runs on CNG or LNG could save you money. Consumer Reports states that when you refuel at home, CNG can cost 50 percent less than gasoline, and when you visit a fueling station, it could cost 30 percent less. Plus, there is currently an oversupply of this fuel in the country, and many suppliers are slashing their prices for residential use. You can see this particularly from many Pennsylvania natural gas companies. An oversupply can translate into savings when it’s used as a fuel source for your car!

As you can see, natural gas vehicles are on the edge of revolutionizing the way we drive in America. Keep your eye out on the road for them – you’ll probably drive next to one sooner than you’d think!

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