Take Your Natural-Gas Vehicle to Utah!

We recently covered the low gas prices in New Jersey, the high cost of diesel nationwide, and the possibility that gas will reach $7 per gallon in four years. These factors have forced some behavioral changes in drivers, especially given the overall economic downturn. Some are opting for the usual alternatives: cycling, mass-transit, ride-sharing, etc. But in Utah, some are taking advantage of a rather unique situation: there, the cost of natural gas is only 63.8 cents per gallon equivalent, the lowest cost for compressed natural gas in the country. What this means is that those fortunate enough to own a natural gas powered vehicle can fill up their tank for a mere 5 dollars. By contrast, in California natural gas costs $2.50 per gallon equivalent.

Utah drivers have taken notice of the bargain, as "personal ownership of natural gas-fueled vehicles in Utah soared from practically nothing a few years ago to an estimated 5,000 vehicles today." And with good reason. "Buyers of new and some used and converted vehicles can claim their own federal and state tax credits totaling up to $7,000 — nearly the extra cost of a CNG-fueled vehicle." However, while natural gas can be derived from anaerobic digesters or landfills, in Utah they are using the fossil fuel kind which, though finite, is at least cleaner burning and less carbon-intensive than regular gasoline. But there's another problem: Honda is the only automaker to sell a natural gas vehicle in the U.S. As a result, buyers in Utah have depended on the used-car market, essentially "sucking all the used [natural gas] vehicles from around the country."

Via: ::Yahoo! News

See Also: :: Peak Natural Gas, ::UPS Deploys 167 Compressed Natural Gas Trucks, ::Natural Gas Platform Runs on Clean Energy

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