The 2012 Clean Cities Vehicle Buyer's Guide is a free catalog of alternative fuel vehicles available in the United States. Additionally in Southern Oregon, there are companies that manufacture, convert, sell, service or finance alternative fuel vehicles. Here is a sampling:
Brammo of Ashland (electric motorcycle manufacturers) email
John's Auto Care Center of Medford (propane conversions)
Lithia of Medford (plug-in electric Nissan Leaf) email and CNG Honda Civic) email
Town and Country Chevrolet of Ashland ( plug-in electric Chevy Volt)
Southern Oregon Subaru Volvo Mitsubishi of Medford (plug-in electric iMiEV Mitsubishi) email
Crater Lake Ford (plug-in electric Ford Focus) email
Advanced Truck Body of Central Point (Knapheide CNG truck bodies, email )
DSU Peterbilt & GMC of Phoenix (propane and LNG conversions, email )
Webfoot Truck & Equipment of Medford (CNG engine repair, sales for International diesel/electric hybrid email )
Ferrell Gas of Medford (assistance with propane conversions email)
Blue Star Gas of Medford (assistance with propane conversion email)
Rogue Federal Credit Union (alternative vehicle financing)
Here are companies that have participated in Rogue Valley Clean Cities events:
Campbell-Parnell (natural gas and propane conversions) Tom Campbell email
The Knapheide Manufacturing Company (truck bodies) Paul Buckel email
AeroVironment EV Solutions (electric charging stations) email
World CNG of Seattle (CNG trucks and buses) email
Combustion Technologies (CNG trucks and buses) email
Smokey's CLN NGV Tech of Portland (natural gas conversions) email
Affordable charging docks (autoweek.com)
Coda Automotive Electric Car (website) (Powerpoint Presentation) (Brochure in PDF)
Sustainable Federal Fleets Newsletter ( website)
Lawn Mowers (website) (PDF)
Green Machine Digest (website) Green Auto Market (News Release PDF)
Alternative Clean Transportation Expo May 15-17, 2012 in Los Angeles
Ecotality Quarterly Reports (website)
Natural Gas Resources
Natural Gas Vehicles: Websites and Resources Compiled By New Orleans Metro Region Louisiana Feb. 8, 2012
Incorporating NGVs into a fleet may require workforce training for technicians, drivers, and other professionals. The AFDC Alternative Fuels Technician Training website, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/technician_training.html, lists a number of organizations that offer training for alternative fuels and advanced vehicles. In particular, you may want to look into:
The following websites provide information about NGV conversions:
Legal Protocol for NGV Conversions
It is important to note that in the United States, all vehicle conversions (except pure battery electric vehicles) must meet current applicable U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. EPA instituted these standards to assure unimpaired emission control of motor vehicles throughout their useful life. For information about these standards, see the EPA Alternative Fuel Conversion website, http://epa.gov/otaq/consumer/fuels/altfuels/altfuels.htm. Note the EPA List of Certified Clean Alternative Fuel Conversion Systems, http://epa.gov/otaq/consumer/fuels/altfuels/altfuels.htm#4, which includes EPA-certified conversions. This spreadsheet may be sorted by fuel type to identify EPA-certified compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) conversions.
Vehicle conversions that require the addition of heavy battery systems or additional fuel tanks that may alter a vehicle's center of gravity, payload capacity, or handling characteristics may need to be safety crash tested and certified to comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and/or other NHTSA regulations.
When looking into vehicle conversions, there are a number of other considerations you may want to keep in mind, including financing (i.e. return on investment (ROI)), price of fuel and energy content/fuel economy (compared to conventional fuels), emissions (compared to conventional fuels), and infrastructure (i.e. station locations). Below are additional information on each of these considerations:
Cost is often a primary consideration when investing in alternative fuels. A few resources that directly address the ROI for CNG vehicles include:
- AFDC NGVCost Calculator - http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/natural_gas_calculator.html
- This cost evaluation tool is specific to original equipment manufacturer (OEM) light-duty vehicles, and uses data based on the Honda Civic GX natural gas vehicle, as it is the only OEM natural gas vehicle available at this time.
- Dollars and “Sense”: NGV Economics: Components of CNG Cost, Calculating Simple Payback and Life-Cycle Cost Savings - Starting on Slide 89: http://www.cleanvehicle.org/workshop/images/Yborra_-_ATL_Workshop_Master.pdf
- The Clean Vehicle Education Foundation (CVEF) hosts periodic workshops entitled “The Compelling Case for Natural Gas Vehicles” - http://www.cleanvehicle.org/workshop/index.shtm. Stephen Yborra, NGVAmerica, gives a presentation at these workshops which outlines lifecycle cost advantages and payback time for a few representative natural gas vehicles. The lifecycle cost advantages cited here range from $6,250 to $105,000; the simple payback period ranges from 0.9 years to 2.5 years.
- Taking a Second Look at the Natural Gas Vehicle: American Gas - http://www.ngvamerica.org/pdfs/marketplace/AmerGasNGVarticle08-06.pdf
- This article outlines the different costs and benefits associated with natural gas vehicles.
- Natural Gas Passenger Vehicles: Availability, Cost, and Performance: CRS Report for Congress - http://digital.library.unt.edu/govdocs/crs/permalink/meta-crs-10808:1
- This report notes that, assuming a 7% discount rate, the current payback period for the OEM CNG vehicle is just over eight years
Price of Fuel and Fuel Energy Content
The AFDC Alternative Fuels Price Report includes current and historic alternative fuels price data, which may be helpful as you consider vehicle conversion. See http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/price_report.html for the most recent Alternative Fuel Price Report file. Note that oftentimes, an important consideration when looking at the price of alternative fuels is energy content compared to conventional fuels. The Alternative Fuel Price Report summarizes energy content considerations and includes conversion factors for fuels. In addition, the AFDC Fuel Properties database allows users to compare fuel properties and characteristics of alternative and conventional fuels, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/properties.html.
Generally, NGVs may produce significantly lower emissions of nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, and toxic and carcinogenic pollutants as well as carbon dioxide. The AFDC Emissions website, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/emissions.html, is a great resource for researching the emissions of CNG and other alternative fuels, as is the AFDC Natural Gas Vehicle Emissions page, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/vehicles/natural_gas_emissions.html. You can also refer to the Argonne National Laboratory’s GREET Fleet Footprint Calculator, http://greet.es.anl.gov/carbon_footprint_calculator, to evaluate the life-cycle petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions for various vehicle-types and fuels.
Fueling Station Infrastructure
CNG and LNG fueling infrastructure exist across the United States. For fueling station location data, please refer to the AFDC Fueling Station Locator, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/stations/, which is searchable by both location and fuel type. The Advanced Search options enable you to target public, private, and/or planned fueling stations.
For information about developing new fueling station infrastructure, please refer to the AFDC Infrastructure Development website: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/fuels/natural_gas_infrastructure.html. Specifically, for information on CNG station sizing considerations, costs, and expected return on investment, please also see pages 1-7 of the Business Case for Compressed Natural Gas in Municipal Fleets, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/pdfs/47919.pdf, which uses the Clean Cities Vehicle and Infrastructure Cash-Flow Evaluation (VICE) Model to compare the costs as well as the payback period for a number of different CNG infrastructure development scenarios. The relationship between fleet type/size and the end cost of the station can be seen on page 3-4 of the report.
In addition, you can also refer your contact to the CNG Cost Calculator developed by the San Joaquin Valley Clean Cities Coalition, http://www1.eere.energy.gov/cleancities/toolbox/docs/cng_cost_calc.xls, which allows users to estimate natural gas station owner costs per gasoline gallon equivalent of CNG sold.
For information on station specifications, please see the following:
Incentives & Funding
For information regarding federal and state incentives that apply to CNG/LNG vehicles and infrastructure, please refer to the AFDC, Incentives and Laws page, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/laws/, which contains summaries of state and federal incentives. The Advanced Search options, http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/laws/search, allow you to identify specific incentives by location, fuel-type, incentive-type, and user-type.
Absorbed Natural Gas Resources
ABSORBED NATURAL GAS: Compiled by Rogue Valley Clean Cities Coalition June 13, 2012
Fuel of the Next Generation, University of Missouri News Bureau
Reversible Storage of Alternative Fuels, Alliance for Collaborative Research in Alternative Fuel Technology (47-page presentation)
From Farm Waste to Fuel Trucks, National Science Foundation
Graduate Student Research Matters, University of Columbia-Missouri Graduate School