Proven reserves are in excess of 309 trillion cubic feet – and
that could be just the tip of the proverbial iceberg – as it has proved to be
with regard to oil, which suddenly America turns out to have vastly more of
than the fear-sayers were telling us lo these past 50 years – until it became
embarrassing for them to continue telling us.
Estimated “recoverable” reserves are almost double the proven
and it is probable that America’s actual CNG reserves are or
triple or even more than the estimated recoverable 500-plus trillion cubic feet
– given we don’t really know how much is down there, nor what new methods will
become available to get it in the coming years, just as with crude oil (which
becomes gasoline and diesel and other things besides).
But even if not, that 309 trillion is still enough to provide
for at least the next 100 years of consumption.
By which time a viable (economically sensible, functionally
gimp-free) EV might be developed and able to stand on its own
four wheels, without subsidies or mandates to keep it rolling.
But it might not be worth even bothering with – given how
superior an alternative CNG is to electricity as a fuel for motor vehicles.
First, the range and recharge issues that gimp electric cars are
non-issues with CNG.
As with a gasoline-powered car, the CNG-powered car’s range is a
function of how much fuel is in the tank and how much fuel the engine uses. The
storage tanks – which are pressurized tanks – are larger than a gasoline or
diesel tank – but that can be obviated via finding extra room for them in larger
vehicles. CNG is therefore the perfect fuel for a big car –
such as a full-size sedan or large SUV or truck – the kinds of vehicles
Americans prefer and which don’t require subsidies or mandates to “stimulate”
No more downsizing of cars – or engines!
No more contrived need (because of government fuel-saving
flapdoodle) for technological annoyances such as ASS – the Automatic Start/Stop
systems most new cars have, not because customers like their cars to shut off
at every red light and stop sign but because it’s a way to eke out a teensy MPG
uptick, to placate the Feds.
Abundant fuel means no justification for top-down energy
austerity measures (well, for us; these austerity measures never apply
to those in the government and the fellow-traveling elites pushing for them can
always easily afford to end-run them – just ask Escalade-driving Al Gore or
jet-setting Leonardo diCaprio).
And smaller tanks – and shorter driving range – aren’t a big
problem, either. Because CNG vehicles don’t need hours to
refuel, like electric cars.
Or an expensive all-new infrastructure, either.
Many American homes already have CNG plumbing –
for heat and appliances. Altering the plumbing to make home refueling (like
home recharging) feasible ought to be technically as well as economically
possible – and even if it costs too much to make that possible, or there is a
technical problem, there is no hours-long refueling problem. CNG-powered cars can
be back on the road almost as quickly as gas or diesel-powered cars –
eliminating the most crippling functional problem with electric cars.
CNG is safer than electric.
The possibility of a fire after a crash is less because the CNG
tanks are located in just onepart of the car (like the gas tank in
a gas or diesel-powered car). Unless that particular part of the car is damaged
in an impact, there is very little risk of a breach and a fire. EVs, on the
other hand, have their batteries spread out over almost the entire length of
the car, so that any impact threatens damage to the battery
pack. And EV battery packs are more likely to ignite because a spark is
EV battery packs can – and have – spontaneously
With CNG – as with gas and diesel – even a leak does not
necessarily mean a fire. There must be a spark to ignite the fuel. And CNG
is less flammable than gasoline, making a fire even less
likely than in a gas-powered car, let alone an EV.
CNG is also better for the environment in terms
of actual pollution – as well as imagined pollution.
The fuel system is sealed, so there’s no vapor leak of
hydrocarbons (as with gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles) during fueling and
when burned, CNG combustion results in almost no harmful byproducts
– the materials which cause or worsen air pollution, such as those unburned
hydrocarbons and also particulate matter (nil) and virtually nil oxides of
nitrogen and carbon monoxide.
CNG-powered vehicles qualify as “partial zero-emissions” (PZEV)
vehicles – which are a hair’s breadth difference from “zero emissions” electric
cars – which aren’t really because electricity production also
produces emissions – ad not just carbon dioxide emissions.
Speaking of which.
Even if you buy the “climate change” shuck-and-jive (which you
shouldn’t; read up on it and you’ll see the thing is grotesquely overstated and
rests on shakier scientific ground than a three-foot-high Jenga tower) CNG is
damned competitive even when it comes to C02 “emissions.” They are much lower
than an equivalent gas or diesel-powered car would produce – and very possible
less in the aggregate than electric cars would produce.
And if environmental considerations are to be the deciding
considerations, then everything associated with EVs must be taken into
consideration – including the manufacturing effluvia associated with the making
of their batteries, as well as disposable/recycling issues – none of which are
issues at all with CNG.
CNG, finally, is much cheaper than electricity – or at least,
than electrically-powered cars.
The current price per-gallon equivalent is less than the cost of
regular unleaded (see here) or just over two bucks per.
And the CNG-powered car itself is
much less expensive than an electric car because it is a conventional car
in all other respects. Any existing IC engine can be converted to operate on
CNG – either full-time or part-time (another advantage over
the electric car, which relies on one fuel only).
A CNG conversion adds
about $4,000 to the price of an existing car – which means you’d pay a lot less
to drive it than you would an electric car, which costs more than twice as much
as an otherwise-equivalent non-electric car.
And no waiting to get
All of which explains why
you almost never hear about the CNG alternative.
It’s the answer to a
question they don’t want anyone to ask.
. . .
Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask
Eric” link and send ’em in!
If you like what you’ve found here please consider supporting