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#4509584 - 09/06/17 10:42 PM NG Commercial longevity
mbacfp Offline


Registered: 09/02/15
Posts: 778
Loc: California
Been seeing a lot of Natural Gas powered mass transit and waste management (trash trucks) running on NG systems. How is that tech evolving...are they reliable at this stage? Curious if anyone has any experience? What are typical lifespans?
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#4509693 - 09/07/17 07:07 AM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: mbacfp]
Kira Offline


Registered: 08/19/10
Posts: 4888
Loc: Champlain/Hudson Valley
Asked myself that same question when I saw all the LPG people movers in Yosemite National Park.

They weren't LNG, I know.

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#4509762 - 09/07/17 08:35 AM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: mbacfp]
JohnnyJohnson Online   content


Registered: 10/22/09
Posts: 2377
Loc: Wet side WA
NG and Propane systems have been reliable for years. A friend of mine had one on his Chrysler with a 400 cubic inch V8 it really ran clean. His oil would hardly discolor. The car had 400,000 miles on it the last time I saw it.
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#4509815 - 09/07/17 09:45 AM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: mbacfp]
mbacfp Offline


Registered: 09/02/15
Posts: 778
Loc: California
Thanks for sharing. Wonder why all this push for electric if LNG might also have some merits? Was just curious why not more main stream for individual commuter cars. Thought it was a reliability issue. Take care.


Edited by mbacfp (09/07/17 09:46 AM)
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#4509846 - 09/07/17 10:33 AM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: mbacfp]
Virtus_Probi Offline


Registered: 06/25/15
Posts: 3789
Loc: New England
Originally Posted By: mbacfp
Thanks for sharing. Wonder why all this push for electric if LNG might also have some merits? Was just curious why not more main stream for individual commuter cars. Thought it was a reliability issue. Take care.


Think the big thing is that we have a nationwide network for electricity distribution and not for natural gas, although the latter has some extensive local networks.

I don't believe NG has any major CO2 mitigation benefits over what we already have in place...hydrogen fuel cells offer the advantage of water being the waste byproduct with no CO2 emissions, but obviously a brand new distribution network is needed for that to work.
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#4509923 - 09/07/17 12:19 PM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: mbacfp]
PandaBear Offline


Registered: 08/05/02
Posts: 14132
Loc: Silicon Valley
I was thinking about getting a Civic GX back when my wife was thinking about a 2nd car that can go on HOV lane, but Leaf range was too short and Tesla was too expensive. Turns out a lot of big problem for personal vehicles using CNG:

1) The CNG tanks take up a lot of space, almost half if not the entire Civic trunk.
2) The CNG tanks are only certified for 15 years, so you either junk it for pay a huge fortune to replace it at 15 years. It cost almost the same as an EV battery (around $5k).
3) The pumping sucks if you do public pumping. You either wait in line with a bunch of garbage trucks and then another 10 mins to pump it to full pressure, or you go to a retail pump that may be broken and not worth the cost to fix (and therefore not fixed).
4) Some model years of the GX have a very bad CVT that won't last more than 100k, often only 60k.
5) EV charging is typically free for many large employers here, CNG cost around $2 for a gallon of gas equivalent of energy.


In conclusion, it is really only fit for fleet service before the proliferation of cheap EV and plug in hybrid.
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#4509930 - 09/07/17 12:27 PM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: PandaBear]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3665
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: PandaBear

2) The CNG tanks are only certified for 15 years, so you either junk it for pay a huge fortune to replace it at 15 years. It cost almost the same as an EV battery (around $5k).
3) The pumping sucks if you do public pumping. You either wait in line with a bunch of garbage trucks and then another 10 mins to pump it to full pressure, or you go to a retail pump that may be broken and not worth the cost to fix (and therefore not fixed).

SoCal has a whole fleet of CNG/LNG buses and the FTA dictates buses bought with federal funds to hold up for 12 years, so the 15-year design life of a composite CNG tank is sufficient. The drivetrain, not so much. LACMTA and OCTA were using Detroit Diesel's S50 CNG, and flirted with Cummins or Doosan engines as repowers. The Bay Area stuck with diesel and hybrids, while SoCal is almost always xNG for public fleets.

However, CNG doesn't have the same power output as diesel or hybrids. SFMTA was looking into CNG buses, but they didn't do too great with the hills in San Francisco and having to deal with fueling/gas detection. SF's trash trucks are still diesel, but Oakland's trucks are moving to LNG.

It hasn't caught on for cars in the US - even with taxicabs and I remember the CNG Crown Vic, CNG Chrysler K-Cars and Civic being used by public fleets and taxis. The Prius and Escape Hybrid killed that off. Autogas is big in Australia however, must be gas prices down there.


Edited by nthach (09/07/17 12:30 PM)

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#4509986 - 09/07/17 01:36 PM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: mbacfp]
aquariuscsm Offline


Registered: 12/30/06
Posts: 17927
Loc: South Texas,USA
I remember seeing natural gas fleet cars in the 80s. I still very seldom ever see them. Did the technology just not evolve?
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#4510459 - 09/07/17 09:42 PM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: mbacfp]
jimbrewer Offline


Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1423
Loc: New Mexico, USA
Home LNG stations are problematic. They fill the tank using a compression approach=more moisture in fuel. Commercial facilities use a cryogenic approach = dryer approach.

On again off again support by local gas company. Opened up a string of facilities with much fanfare. Then closed them a couple of years later. So sorry.

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#4510460 - 09/07/17 09:42 PM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: mbacfp]
jimbrewer Offline


Registered: 12/30/12
Posts: 1423
Loc: New Mexico, USA
Home LNG stations are problematic. They fill the tank using a compression approach=more moisture in fuel. Commercial facilities use a cryogenic approach = dryer approach.

On again off again support by local gas company. Opened up a string of facilities with much fanfare. Then closed them a couple of years later. So sorry.

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#4510808 - 09/08/17 11:50 AM Re: NG Commercial longevity [Re: mbacfp]
nthach Offline


Registered: 01/02/04
Posts: 3665
Loc: California
Honda was also wanting owners of the Civic NG to install their home filling point PHill but home natural gas is distributed at lower pressures. It was slow as well.

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