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Hello from Baltimore

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  • Hello from Baltimore

    Long time lurker, first time poster. Please excuse the shameless self promotion.

    I have a veritable fleet(!) of CNG cars (2 Cavaliers and a C2500) that I have owned and used for over a decade. I have used CNGchat as a resource to help me keep them on the road all this time. I've never registered here because I didn't think I had much to add to the discussion and I live on the wrong side of the country for CNG.

    We had a progressive gas utility that began a CNG program many years ago that placed 4 CNG stations around Baltimore that were reasonably priced and sorta well maintained, if you consider a 1970s era pump setup as reasonable. Back then, I was using a personal vehicle for work and was being reimbursed for mileage and making out like a (very) small time bandit (at 40 cents a mile difference). Fast forward to now and I have a legit company vehicle with a gas card and my personal motivations have kinda wavered. Good ol' BGE ended their program 'cause they were focusing on biodiesel and Clean Fuel now charges more for CNG than the going gasoline prices around here, though they do have very nice stations nowhere near my house. All the vehicles now have expired tanks and, well, I think you can understand my loss of enthusiasm. I sorta thought I'd have a refueling station by now, but I really can't justify it any more.

    Long story short, I have listed one of the Cavaliers on E-bay and I'm hoping one of you left coast enthusiasts will be interested. I still believe in all the benefits of CNG, but it just isn't in the cards for me now. I also have a collection of parts from a stripped Cavalier I was saving, but really can't use any more.

    Someone here contacted me when I bought it and someone else contacted me when I listed it. Thank you for all of your interest; this is a very dedicated group. I am hoping that I can help someone out with their first vehicle (even if it is a POS) or provide a part for someone trying to keep one on the road.

    Chris

  • #2
    Welcome to CNGchat, CNGbaltimoron (clever screen name)!

    CNG for light-duty / consumer vehicles is a tough proposition right now, but gasoline and diesel prices are rising... at its highest point since June 2015 so it seems. So we shall see where things go. Feel free to post your Cavalier spare parts in the Marketplace forum (expired tanks and cars with them installed can't be posted here however), there always seems to be a need for working parts for these increasingly-rare vehicles.

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    • #3
      There are not many good deals in NY but CNG is still one of them in our area. I am running a home fueler that comes out to about .50 GGE buying the Natural Gas and electric from National Grid. The Clean Energy site is about the same cost as gasoline but the American Natural Gas site in Saratoga NY is only $ 1.19 GGE !

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      • #4
        Originally posted by John Mitton View Post
        Welcome to CNGchat, CNGbaltimoron (clever screen name)!

        CNG for light-duty / consumer vehicles is a tough proposition right now, but gasoline and diesel prices are rising... at its highest point since June 2015 so it seems. So we shall see where things go. Feel free to post your Cavalier spare parts in the Marketplace forum (expired tanks and cars with them installed can't be posted here however), there always seems to be a need for working parts for these increasingly-rare vehicles.

        These small business owners need to be using small compressors to fill their fleet for .75 cents a gallon. Even with compressor maintenance you would still be at or under 1$ a gallon.


        A micro series or Coltri MCH-24 should be more then enough for a fleet this size, or even a mch-5 @ $7,500-$10,000, but some business owners aren't good with math (or dont have an onsite nat. gas supply)


        If i told you that you could buy special gasoline fuel your card for your entire fleet for 25,000 dollars and from that point on you could use that card at your local gas station and only pay 1.00 a gallon for the rest of your life most people would do it.
        Last edited by trdscfjc; 11-18-2017, 01:38 AM.

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        • #5
          I agree that the long term viability of CNG as a motor fuel remains to be seen. NG from the utility costs about $1 a therm delivered and a GGE is about a therm (liberal use of rounding here) so $1/gal is a very attractive and realistic number. The difference is the investment in the infrastructure to deliver it. NG piping extends far outside our Beltway, but you're not going to get much in a tank at 1/2psi! Compressors don't grow on trees and require significant investment, maintenance and upkeep. What I am seeing is large fleet owners being sold on the Pickens plan and agreeing to buy fuel at an elevated price for the environmental bragging rights and tax incentives and not having to make the investment. I have a hard time justifying $2.50/GGE for CNG when I can buy gasoline for $2.30 a gallon retail and go further. Then again, if I had to buy gas around the airport, $2.50 is a steal...

          I have noticed that one of the city's large companies that is in the bread business (and happens to own the Orioles) installed their own LPG fueling station and has converted most of their fleet to LP. Liquid Petroleum Gas is a weird commodity as the price is determined by volume and demand. If I were to try to run my home on LP, the price per gallon approaches $3/gal (and has spiked to over $6) and a gallon is only 0.91 therm. Wholesale prices are significantly lower, but you have to be a bulk customer and even those prices can be very volatile. LP has the advantage of being much more energy dense and much lower pressure meaning that a vehicle can go much further on a given volume of gas. I would want to have some bulletproof contracts in place before committing to LP though. Gasoline and diesel are a much more stable commodity, relatively speaking.

          Not to sidetrack the subject, but Tesla is pushing the use of electric OTR trucks as the next big thing. Elon is also pushing a vacuum tube to New York, but many of us are still skeptical. All of this remains to be seen but electricity seems to be a much better deal at the moment in terms of $/btu/gge/mpg. How does this all work out in the future? I'm not sure. My Ouija board gave out a few years back.

          Chris

          Shameless promotion: CNG Cavalier on E-bay. Functional but not pretty. I'll remove tank if you insist. Really would like to see this to go to someone on the left coast.

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