Tens of thousands of large vehicles across the country have been using natural gas as a fuel source for a number of years, but a new form of it may be ready to take off.
According to Reuters, buses, garbage trucks and other government vehicles around the country have been using compressed natural gas (CNG) as a fuel source but still relatively few use liquid natural gas (LNG). However, LNG has a number of advantages as a fuel source with one of the most prominent being that once the natural gas is cooled and stored, it takes up a fraction of the space occupied by pipeline-quality gas.
Despite this and other advantages, there are a number of barriers preventing LNG from taking off as a fuel source. Indeed, the Energy Information Agency says that there are only 44 LNG fueling stations in the country and vehicles that use the fuel, such as tractors, cost thousands of dollars more than diesel versions.
The Reuters article concludes that in order for LNG to succeed as a fuel source, its price must be significantly lower than diesel to make up for the lack of fueling stations and the increased cost of vehicles.
The Street reports that earlier this year prices of LNG increased 91 percent in large part due to the crisis in Japan. The Asian nation's importation of the fuel source increased 11 percent in June, compared to a 1.9 percent increase for crude oil, according to Dow Jones Newswires.