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While I to am on the waiting list for a volt with an internal combustion "gas" engine I would like to understand where GM stands on CNG. We all are hearing about the Pickins plan and I for one want energy independence as well as a PHEV. With the home fueling CNG system "Phill" we could use the GM-volt around home and never buy foreign oil products again!
 

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Have you seen the price of natural gas lately? It's no bargain anymore. It costs almost as much per kW/hr as gasoline now.
 

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It's not just about price anymore. It's about independance, pride and not being willing to "transfer our wealth" to the oil rich countries. It's just annother plug in your garage for CNG.
 

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I said cng on an earlier thread and kinda got chastisized but I still think an air motor would work, its just to run the generator and would get away from oil almost completely, with a high speed air compressor built in all you would need is a plug somewhere, think about it. and dont buy anymore new gas cars
 

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CNG fueled cars have a lot of issues. The fuel tank has to be big, and can't have an irregular shape, so you lose the trunk of the car. There are issues with crash-worthiness, and you can't drive the cars through some tunnels.

The better approach would be to convert fleet vehicles to CNG. In New York and New Jersey, a lot of the busses (both city and inter-city) are CNG-fueled. They have the big "clean air bus" logo on the side. In addition to busses, I can also see it working for trains. CNG tank cars are routine, so connecting one to a locomotive would be easy to do.

Work on CNG-based fleet vehicles first. We'll use electrons for our cars.
 

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Just for those who were wondering what is the Gasoline Gallon Equivalent (GGE) of CNG is it's:

CNG (3600 psi) - .27
LNG - .66

http://www1.eere.energy.gov/vehicles...sion_table.pdf


So, you can still get good range if you have an E-REV design and plan for space for the CNG tanks. Remember that the Volt will get about 49 miles per gallon on the highway so to go 200 miles you would need about 4 gallons of gasoline / .27 = 14.8 gallon CNG tank. That is not so bad. If you are thinking mileage in the city the Volt will get about 100 miles per gallon so you only need 2 gallons of gasoline / .27 = 7.4 gallon CNG tank. Very reasonable.


Price equivalent of CNG:

"The national average cost of compressed natural gas (CNG) was 94 cents cheaper than gasoline on an energy-equivalent basis, according the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report in June 2006. Gasoline was $2.84 per gallon, diesel was $2.98 per gallon, and CNG was $1.90 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). "

http://munews.missouri.edu/news-rele...atural-gas.php


Thus, the size of the tank is not outrageous and the price is likely to be cheaper than gasoline as global petroleum supplies tighten. Additionally, CNG is believed to be safer than gasoline. There is also something for the environmentalists... CNG is a very clean burning fuel (you can even burn an open flame in your house).


Thus, a CNG range extender is very doable and would in fact work out very well due to the reduced amount of on-board fuel that is needed for a well designed E-REV. No, we won't see a CNG option on day one but it's only a matter of if the market wants it. If they want it in great enough numbers GM can build it.
 

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...Price equivalent of CNG:

"The national average cost of compressed natural gas (CNG) was 94 cents cheaper than gasoline on an energy-equivalent basis, according the Clean Cities Alternative Fuel Price Report in June 2006. Gasoline was $2.84 per gallon, diesel was $2.98 per gallon, and CNG was $1.90 per gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE). "

http://munews.missouri.edu/news-rele...atural-gas.php
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I can't read your link. Is that at the $0.8 / TCF spot price or the $1.4 /TCF retail price they're delivering it to your house for currently?

I installed radiant cove heaters and am turning off my furnace this year. Zone electric heating. At any given time only 3 rooms of the house will be heated.
 

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I can't read your link. Is that at the $0.8 / TCF spot price or the $1.4 /TCF retail price they're delivering it to your house for currently?

I installed radiant cove heaters and am turning off my furnace this year. Zone electric heating. At any given time only 3 rooms of the house will be heated.



The price quoted was just an example for the time. You would have to recalculate for the current price you get at your house.

Zone heating is great! In fact, only in America do people heat or cool their huge 10,000 sq McMansions. OK, maybe a few kings and rich people around the world. Here is one area where we could really cut down on our energy bills. If new houses were designed to be zoned off just think of the money and energy we could save if we were only to heat a few spaces at a time. No heating of the closet upstairs in the guest room or the 3rd bathroom. It's amazing how much energy we use! It would baffle most people around the world.

Right there we could use all of that extra NG for backup power for solar and wind resources. Thus, we can really cut down on our energy use in America will little or no lowering of our lifestyles. The energy fruit is still hanging very low on the branches. We just need the right leadership to guide us energy pigs. Of course, high energy prices will have the same effect but much pain must be felt before. We can do it... Or have it done to us.
 

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Diesel / BioDiesel

What about Diesel / BioDiesel? Shouldn't GM should be offering this as an option from day one? 60-70mpg with the range extender would be easily achievable.
 

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CNG not about cost; It is about freedom from Gas shortages

I remember the gas shortages from the 1973 oil crisis. It is very possible for that to happen again. During that shortage, no one cared what the price was. Just getting gas was the goal. I would like to have a vehicle that runs on CNG.
 

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I remember the gas shortages from the 1973 oil crisis. It is very possible for that to happen again. During that shortage, no one cared what the price was. Just getting gas was the goal. I would like to have a vehicle that runs on CNG.




This is a very good point. We Volt owners will be able to tool around town and get to work (most of us) while others are waiting in line after that bomb attack, hurricane, mad dictator cut-off, OPEC production cut, etc. Slap a small CNG tank in the trunk and you can have even more freedom.

Electricity and NG are produced right here in the USA. Sure, old coal-burning plants are bad but they are not as bad as relying on OPEC for our economic stability. New coal-burning power plants are not nearly as bad as the old ones. We are the Saudi Arabia of coal. Let's get stable first then we can get renewable. Just switching to EVs moves us in the right direction. Why don't people understand this? They keep saying it's dirty and you are just moving the pollution from the tailpipe to the smokestack. Yes!!!!! They should be saying moving from OPEC oil fields to US coal mines. This is much better for our economic stability. Much better. Additionally, this will drop oil demand and help lower oil prices. It also gives us more time to transition to solar and wind. Amazing!
 

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Or Perhaps

…Or perhaps we could:

1. Use drilling technology to drill into in situ coal seams and simply pump in and circulate water that contains microbes (methanogens) that have been genetically engineered to produce copious amounts methane gas as they feed on unminable coal seams. In other words, create a man-made natural gas field;

2. …and perhaps we will still mine and combust coal to generate electricity, but it instead of allowing all the CO2 and heat generated to go up the stack, we will capture that concentrated C02 source and use it, along with the heat generated and about 20% of the electricity generated to drive a liquid phase chemical process that converts the CO2 to hydrocarbons (fuel) on the order of 7 barrels of fuel per ton of coal. Wherein, the only CO2 emitted is when the hydrocarbon fuel produced is burned, and the electricity that is coproduced is in essence, CO2 free. Thus the net effect is less than half the CO2 emissions for a comparable amount of BTU’s produced today. DARPA


3. …and perhaps we will also make hydrocarbon fuel from algae. Funny thing about that algae, lots of different kinds…not all of which require sun light I hear. ;-)

I just wish someone could invent an automobile that could reduce our national oil consumption by approximately 70%, so we could meet our energy demands by domestically produced alternative means. I'm just say'in.
 

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Just switching to EVs moves us in the right direction. Why don't people understand this? They keep saying it's dirty and you are just moving the pollution from the tailpipe to the smokestack. Yes!!!!! They should be saying moving from OPEC oil fields to US coal mines.
You are right about energy independence. But let's go back to the very common comment that I hear - "you are just moving the pollution from the tailpipe to the smokestack." I wish I had my references handy, but I remember reading a study that accounted for the improved efficiency at the generation plant when compared to your car, dramatically improved efficiency of an EV drivetrain compared to the ICE, transmission losses in the electrical grid, and losses in the battery charger. This study concluded that even in a grid that is primarily powered by coal, the total carbon generated per mile is reduced by half.
 

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You are right about energy independence. But let's go back to the very common comment that I hear - "you are just moving the pollution from the tailpipe to the smokestack." I wish I had my references handy, but I remember reading a study that accounted for the improved efficiency at the generation plant when compared to your car, dramatically improved efficiency of an EV drivetrain compared to the ICE, transmission losses in the electrical grid, and losses in the battery charger. This study concluded that even in a grid that is primarily powered by coal, the total carbon generated per mile is reduced by half.



Yes, even more reason to do it! Soon we won't have to follow our insane energy policy of using as much imported oil as possible. It might be some guru's plan but it's not mine! I would rather ride a bike or walk. I think the NPNS slogan is catching on. Nothing like a grass root solution to an impossible political problem.
 

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The whole "All you're doing is moving the pollution from the tailpipe to the smokestack" argument is total BS anyways. Do these people who spout off about this even realize that even if 100% of the electricity coming from the power plant isn't being used (like at night), the plant is still generating 100%? They don't turn off the plant because it's off peak hours. It stays running. Which means no matter what, it will still emit the same amount of pollution. Whether we are using 20% or 100% of it's generated electricity. This is what the anti-EV people just don't get. You can also install a PV system or wind generator on your home and generate your own electricity to recharge your EV, which is what I plan on doing if I wind up with an EV. The PV for daylight, with the wind generator supplying at night when, obviously, the PV is useless.

As for CNG. Either that or a B100 compatible genset would be a great alternative IMHO. I would prefer the B100 simply because it is more efficient, and everyone knows diesel engines are far more reliable than pretty much any other form of ICE built. And it would also open up production of coal to liquid because if it can burn B100, it can also burn petro-diesel.
 

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So we can use imported natural gas instead of imported oil? :confused:




This is not as bad as it seems. Firstly, NG is very clean burning. Less pollution. Secondly, it appears that peak natural gas is further out than peak oil. We might also get it from more friendly nations.

What we need in America is time. We all sat back and let the hammer fall but now that we got that pain we are somewhat motivated to move forward on alternatives. I think more pain is needed for us to get really serious but we are doing some good work now (lot's of investment and development). It will take probably at least a decade for alternatives to even start to make a dent and get our energy supplies moving upward again. Until then we can work hard on using what we have more efficiently. Not as easy and fun as before but definitely better for the environment and for the world's economic long-term stability.
 

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I like the idea of using NG in cars....until we have fast charging high capacity batteries that can give the car a range of 300 to 400 miles on electric only AND there are on-highway electric recharging stations.

I have NG in my home and could easily add a Phil refill station (it would take hours to refill the tank however). But I think the issue is not "NG or gasoline?", its ACCESS to fuel on the highway away from home.

If your battery is low and you go though all the NG in your tank and you can't get home what do you do? Unless you can plug in your car for a while or find a gas station that sells NG you are parking the car or calling a tow truck.

Much as I want to burn as little gasoline as possible (or none at all) gasoline is what is sold at most gas stations right now. If you have a Volt with NG you are tied to your home NG refilling station pretty much and can't go beyond the range of your battery+NG tank.

But for the 5% or 10% of the time you need to burn a fuel it makes sense for it to burn gasoline for now....if tons of NG filling stations pop before the Volt ships then that could change...but I don't see that happening.

I think for now it makes more sense for the Volt to have a gas burning engine that is also rated for E100. Then you can also burn cellulosic ethanol that we can produce here in the U.S. and who's price could be pretty cheap in a few years :)
 

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When you say NG available at home are you talking about high pressure NG or Liquified Natural Gas (LNP) for use in your car. Unless it is liquified I don't think you would get sufficient range to make it useable. Are you aware of a compressor or packaged system on the market that would allow liquifying NG at home. What do you expect it to cost and cost to operate?
 

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In my home (like most homes with natural gas I think) the pressure is very low. My friend Ray is certified to install natural gas appliances, and in fact installed a gas heater/AC air handler for me for my basement when I finished it off a couple years ago. I can't remember the exact pounds of pressure but I remember him telling me the gas pressure in the line into the house is pretty low, something like .5 psi. I think that is why the Phill home refilling station takes a long time to refill a NG car tank, but where they sell NG at gas stations it is under high pressure and can refill your tank pretty fast.
http://www.myphill.com/

I suppose if you did not mind the cost and complexity you could have a high pressure NG tank in your garage that would fill over several hours (and, no, I don't know of any that you can buy for your home today), and then when you go to fill your car you could fill it with high pressure NG much faster. Not sure of the risk of several million home garages out there with high pressure NG tanks in them though....
 
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