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Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

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  • Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

    I have been watching this web site for a month or so and have seen interest, and prices, in cng vehicles skyrocketing. Honda wants $28,000.00 for an underpowered and (so sorry Curtis but it's no SI ) uninspireing Civic. The outfit that makes Phill wants $7,000.00 for an overgrown pump. The aftermarket companies (BAF etc.) want $12,000.00 to retrofit a limited number of gas engines. The auctions and private sellers want "stupid high" prices for Chevy Cavaliers, Ford Contours, Regular Cab F-150's . . . that would not find a buyer outside of a trailer park if they would not run on cng. It seems to me that, if cng is the goose that lays the golden egg, everyone has sliced off so much meat that there is nothing but a neckbone left for us at the table. Can someone out there help me? How does one get into this cng thing, to save money, if you have to get screwed over first? Do we have to wait for the hipe to go away first? I guess what I'm asking is "why can't I buy a Ford Edge cng for $22,000.00, a Chevy Malibu cng for $18,000.00, an F-150 crew cab cng for $20,000.00, a Subaru Forester cng for $20,000.00 or a Toyota Camry cng for $22,000.00?"

  • #2
    Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

    Definitely a 'chicken and egg' problem. No one was much interested when gasoline was $2 a gallon. You could barely give away used CNG cars and pumps, especially when Arizona yanked their incentives. Now that gas is over $4/gallon the prices are driven by people in Utah who have under $1 CNG and long distances to drive.

    My advice: the sooner you get 'in the game' the sooner it will start paying off. That Cav that you pay $11k for today might be worth as much or more if you sell it in a couple of years if gasoline keeps going up. Of course, the more gasoline goes up, the more you want to keep the CNG going, right?

    My advice II: Don't look at capital costs. Just look at consumables, maintenance, and depreciation.
    02 GX
    01 GX
    03 Crown Vic
    06 GX
    Home Fueler

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

      My advice III: Stop wishing for what isn't there and buy what is there.
      02 GX
      01 GX
      03 Crown Vic
      06 GX
      Home Fueler

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

        You are absolutely right. I was able to find a 99 truck with an unused CNG system out in Atlanta. I said I wanted it and booked a ticket to pick it up. I got a call a few hours later saying he was getting so many calls he considered doubling the price! Fortunately I was able to keep him at a reasonable level. The only way to really get a good deal these days is with a little luck and someone that doesn't take advantage of the crazy Utah market. That's pretty tough these days. Man, what I wouldn't give to have bought these vehicles about 6 months ago . . .

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

          It is this spike in values, which makes the demand apparent enough for more manufacturers to come into the marketplace. It is unfortunate that it is happening, but I still think it may be the best thing that COULD happen.
          1997 Factory Crown Victoria w/ extended tanks ~~ Clunkerized!
          2000 Bi-Fuel Expedition --> ~~ Sold ~~ <--

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

            I am sure a few people will remember gas when it was $.19 a gallon. In 1968 I was paying that in Rigby Id as I filled up my Pea Green 49 Chevy Deluxe (it blew up later and I gave it to Joe Buzzards Junkyard in Pocatello but that is another story)
            The gas is high and it will go higher. Does it put a strain on everyone? Most everyone but some of us will find alternatives, better MPG's, Motorcycles, AFV's, bicycles and Electric Cars. The market will correct and someone will help us find a cheaper way to drive and some of us may stop driving all together. We Americans are very inovative and we always come out on top in the end, I choose to remain positive, Jim
            Jim Younkin
            www.younkincng.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

              dkellas,

              People just don't do the math. If you pay $10K or more for a 2001 or 2002 Chevy Cavalier CNG. Look at www.edmunds.com and you'll find that you could buy the same vehicle (gasoline only) for about $3,500. $6,500 will buy you 1,625 gallons of gasoline at $4/gal. And at 30 miles/gal you will go 48,750 miles on that $6,500. That is about 3 - 4 years of driving. People just don't do the math.
              Jared.
              Mountain Green, Utah
              2003 CNG Cavalier
              2003 CNG Silverado 2500HD

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

                Unfortunately, the price of gasoline will likely rise beyond today's prices over the next 5-10 years, so the saving will likely be less. When the initial dollar savings has been consumed we would like a cost-effective replacement for our gas-guzzlers. If we don't start pushing it now (by buying and operating CNG vehicles), there may not be a viable alternative.

                There is a widely held view that going with what is cheapest over the next 1-3 years has gotten us into this "nothing but gasoline makes sense" mindset we're in now. I remember waiting in line for gasoline in 1973. It was obvious then that we were heading for trouble, but after a few years people kept focusing on short-term costs.

                Sometimes what is cheaper over 3 years is more expensive over 10.

                Just a thought,
                Last edited by mecklen; 07-09-2008, 10:08 AM.
                Robert '07 GX

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                • #9
                  Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

                  Over the long-run CNG will DEFINITELY be better than normal petrol.

                  First, it is tremendously cleaner for the environment by reduced emissions.

                  Second, your vehicle will last 3 or 4 times longer (engine) than with normal petrol vehicle. I saw a Ford E350 van for sale on Ebay with 486,000 miles on it and still pulling over $4,000 bid !!! Wow!!!

                  Finally, you will be using domestic fuel that can be replaced with bio-fuel if large cities improve their wastewater treatment plants to capture the methane (ie raw form of cng) into pipeline quality natural gas that can be compressed and have very inexpensive bio-fuel for city/county vehicles, as well as the general public. Also, landfills, cattle yards, chicken producers, dairy farms, etc. can all add a building that captures the methane rather than just letting it escape into the atmosphere - - Dirty Jobs TV show featured dairy farm that was producing it's own cng ; Texas of all states has cattle yard that produces cng for large tractor/trailer trucks to use when transporting cattle. Sweden already has wastewater plant producing cng, Ohio has landfill producing cng for trash trucks to use that run on cng - - let's GET TO WORK on improving our infrastructure here in USA and force USA auto dealers to sell cng cars here!!!

                  USA just has to DO IT !!! Do not sell a single cng product to Europe, Asia, etc. UNTIL the USA implements cng all across the country!! Force EPA to let competiton come in for home VRA (ie GasFill from England and Gas At Home from Netherlands) so Fuelmaker has competition. Force the EPA to eliminate draconian rules that put up roadblocks for conversion of existing vehicles to become bi-fuel. If Argentina & Brazil can grow their cng vehicle count to over 1.6 Million in under 5 years, surely the richest country in the world (USA) can do it!! CNG definitely IS the solution for fuel crisis for the next 15 years until electric and solar ramps up.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

                    Originally posted by Highmarker View Post
                    dkellas,

                    People just don't do the math. If you pay $10K or more for a 2001 or 2002 Chevy Cavalier CNG. Look at www.edmunds.com and you'll find that you could buy the same vehicle (gasoline only) for about $3,500. $6,500 will buy you 1,625 gallons of gasoline at $4/gal. And at 30 miles/gal you will go 48,750 miles on that $6,500. That is about 3 - 4 years of driving. People just don't do the math.
                    Another possibility is that if you drive as much as some of us do, 50,000 miles go by in 1-2 years. Then, at the end of these 2 years, I start saving money, while the guy that chose to drive a gasoline car because he did not consider a 2 year break-even time reasonable, continues to pay $4.50+ for gasoline. I guess it depends how you interpret your math and if you think strictly short term, or see the big picture and think long term.
                    Adrian

                    Navy 2008 Civic GX (wife's)
                    Silver 2012 Toyota Prius
                    Grey 2012 Civic Natural Gas (mine)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

                      Some people do only HALF the math...

                      After driving both cars for a couple of years, the person who bought the Bifuel Cav has a high mileage bifuel Cav. If gasoline prices go back down to $2.50 then the Cav will probably be worth $5-6k (because of awareness being higher of CNG now and assuming Utah public CNG stays regulated and low). The gasoline Cav might be worth $2k if you're lucky. So, maybe it's about a breakeven on fuel savings after a couple of years (and you get to keep saving money after the breakeven point).

                      BUT, if gasoline stays where it is now, the Cav will be worth maybe $8k. You only paid $2k to save $6k -- not a bad deal. And, you can keep saving as long as the Cav runs on CNG.

                      BUT #2, if gasoline goes up to $6/7/8 a gallon, the Cav will be worth THE SAME as when you bought. You saved $6/8/10k on fuel cost and it cost you NOTHING.

                      You think it can't happen? I bought 2 low mileage GXs 4 years ago for $11k each. I've been saving on fuel the whole time. And, my GXs are probably now worth the same $11k I paid for them. Case closed (as Al Gore would say, although _I_ am open to being shown where my case is flawed).

                      PS I paid $11k for a Bifuel Cav for my daughter last month. You know which way I think things are going to go.
                      02 GX
                      01 GX
                      03 Crown Vic
                      06 GX
                      Home Fueler

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

                        Math is a tricky thing. Numbers can be used to prove anything in any way you want. All I know is that when I started driving my 97 Crown Victoria a little over 5 years ago, people told me I was crazy. Now they tell me I am lucky. I work in outside sales and drive 40-50K miles per year. Even with CNG prices going up, I have not only recouped my initial investment of $5000 that I paid for the car, but I am now making money when I get my monthly expense checks at $0.58 per mile from my company.

                        I guess I rather be lucky than good!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

                          STATISTICS can be used to prove anything you want, but Math is Math. And The Market is The Market. The cars' prices are where they are because SOMEONE has decided it makes sense. I think they're right. In fact, I was worried that it would only get that much higher when it was time to buy my daughter a car in the fall, so I bought it last month.
                          02 GX
                          01 GX
                          03 Crown Vic
                          06 GX
                          Home Fueler

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

                            Wow. . . you guys make alot of sense, but I still wish I could buy a 2001 Cavalier cng for $3,000.00 or a Ford F-150 for $2,000.00. Does anyone think that the conversions will come down to $3,00.00 or $4,000.00? What vehicle with a gass engine and decent fuel mileage would be the best to buy now and convert later?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Are We All Killing A Great Idea?

                              The short answer is no. Increased interest in CNG has driven up the prices. These increased prices will attract new suppliers who want to take advantage of the opportunity to make money in this area, which will eventually bring prices down. It won't happen overnight, but it is happening. Honda has increased production on the Civic for 2009, and the other manufacturers may take notice and start producing vehicles if they see a profit in it.

                              My view is that CNG is a short term solution until a viable electric vehicle comes into production. Don't get me wrong, I like my CNG Civic, but I'd like it even more if I could plug it into my house outlet and get 100 miles a day.

                              Originally posted by dkellas View Post
                              I have been watching this web site for a month or so and have seen interest, and prices, in cng vehicles skyrocketing. Honda wants $28,000.00 for an underpowered and (so sorry Curtis but it's no SI ) uninspireing Civic. The outfit that makes Phill wants $7,000.00 for an overgrown pump. The aftermarket companies (BAF etc.) want $12,000.00 to retrofit a limited number of gas engines. The auctions and private sellers want "stupid high" prices for Chevy Cavaliers, Ford Contours, Regular Cab F-150's . . . that would not find a buyer outside of a trailer park if they would not run on cng. It seems to me that, if cng is the goose that lays the golden egg, everyone has sliced off so much meat that there is nothing but a neckbone left for us at the table. Can someone out there help me? How does one get into this cng thing, to save money, if you have to get screwed over first? Do we have to wait for the hipe to go away first? I guess what I'm asking is "why can't I buy a Ford Edge cng for $22,000.00, a Chevy Malibu cng for $18,000.00, an F-150 crew cab cng for $20,000.00, a Subaru Forester cng for $20,000.00 or a Toyota Camry cng for $22,000.00?"

                              Comment

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