Natural gas vehicles, an idea whose time has come




Stricklin, Claude, 1950-

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The recent events in the Persian Gulf have again heightened the realization that the United States is still as energy dependent on Mideast supplies of oil as it was eighteen years ago when the Arabs imposed their first oil embargo. Petroleum dependency is a problem of the transportation sector. Since 1958 petroleum has supplied between 95.4 percent and 97.3 percent of all transportation energy in the U.S. However, oil production in the U.S. has continued to outstrip additions to petroleum reserves for every year since 1970. Not only is domestic production of oil expected to continue to decline, but petroleum imports could account for 50 to 60 percent of total oil consumption in the U.S. by the end of this decade. The abundant resources/reserves of natural gas found within the borders of the U.S. can provide the answer for solving two of America's most pressing problems; energy dependence and a continual degradation of urban air quality. The natural gas vehicle (NGV) is an engine that can run on compressed natural gas. It has been around for more than one hundred years and within the past decade, the technology, efficiency and performance of the NGV have dramatically improved. Although a NGV gets about the same miles per equivalent gallon of gasoline as a conventional gasoline or diesel engine, the exhaust emissions from the NGV are far more environmentally benign. In fact, an increased use of natural gas vehicles could significantly reduce exhaust pollutants and help clean up the air of many urban areas. The natural gas vehicle is an idea whose time has come