In the U.S.A., the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has jurisdiction concerning vehicle safety It requires that all CNG fuel storage cylinders have a label that (1) states the date of manufacture and the date that the cylinder is required to be removed from service (typically 15-20 years), and (2) instructs the vehicle owner/operator to have a qualified visual inspection of the tank every 36,000 miles or every 3 years (whichever occurs first) and/or after an accident or fire. Converters and vehicle owners should have documentation that this safety inspection has been done. Inspections are performed to look for tank and bracket damage (e.g., gouges, cuts, abrasions, dents, corrosion, rust, general wear, etc.). Qualified cylinder inspectors are located throughout the US and Canada. The cost/time associated with a cylinder inspection is minimal.
The American Clean Skies Foundation (ACSF) issued a new report that urges the federal government to switch its transportation contractors to carriers that fuel on domestic fuels such as natural gas. By switching just 20% of its business to carriers who fuel on domestic alternative fuels, the federal government can save up to $7 billion annually on transportation services.
Follow the link for further details about the American Clean Skies Foundation report.
A two year study by the National Petroleum Council concludes that natural gas is a promising alternative fuel for on-road transportation from both an economic and technology perspective. The study looked at both light and heavy duty applications.
“There are competing priorities in the pursuit of new fuel and vehicle technologies that are reliable, affordable and environmentally advanced and natural gas is well-positioned within the study,” said Karen Hamberg, Vice President of Sustainable Energy Futures at Westport.
The study also analyzed four other fuel pathways, including hydrocarbon liquids, biofuels, electricity, and hydrogen, as well as the fuel-vehicle systems that may develop over the next several decades.
Included in the report summary are the following natural gas insights (abbreviated):
- Increased long-term low-cost supply can drive increased use of natural gas for transportation
- There is opportunity for LD and HD natural gas vehicles to become attractive to both retail and fleet consumers
- Few technological barriers exist
- ICE enhancements can translate to NG engines
- Build-out of infrastructure is critical
The Advancing Technology for America’s Transportation Future Final Report is available by clicking here.
More information – NGV Global News item, U.S. Transportation Sector Report Acknowledges Importance of Natural Gas as Transportation Fuel.