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What happened 10 years ago?

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  • What happened 10 years ago?

    I'm particularly interested in finding facts and news articles that might explain why the popular movement to switch to CNG 1998-2000 failed.

  • #2
    Re: What happened 10 years ago?

    Are you refering to the "Arizona Alternative Fuels Fiasco" of 2000?
    Where the state lost $104M, and not the projected $400M that was estimated before pulling the plug?

    Do you mean the "instead of a tax credit, we'll just write'em a check for ten grand. But nobody but fleets will take advantage of the program." movement?

    Do you mean the 800 lb. gorilla in the room that no past or current state legislator cares to acknowledge?

    Do you mean the same gorilla that was buried with former Arizona Speaker of the House and activist, Jeff Groscost in 2006 as his only memorable legacy?

    Or are you talking about something else?
    Your Friendly Nazi Squirrel Administrator


    • #3
      Re: What happened 10 years ago?

      Actually, what I 'm hoping to get is some Information as to why, (when we had the manufacturers on board, willing to manufacture CNG vehicles, and at least some State and Federal support of the idea of moving to CNG) did the movement get quashed?

      Was it the Oil Company lobbyists? Was it the New Right?
      Any Ideas or Facts?



      • #4
        Re: What happened 10 years ago?

        From what I understand there were a few things that caused the problems.
        1. alot of the units where modified LPG set ups, and they where used on carburators. They had problems stalling during acceleration and the fact that CNG is higher in octane they didnt work well on engines designed for 87 octane.
        2. The "factory" installed where acctually kits from some of the current small volume mfg's. Problems getting repair parts ect.

        The difference today is fuel injection, and using factory computor to control fuel has eliminated alot of the problems. Kits like the natural drive that use the E-85 engines that have the needed valves and compression are on the right track to make it work right.
        Hope this helps and dont forget the EPA and CARB requirements dont help on some of this. everybody chime in if you think differently.


        • #5
          Re: What happened 10 years ago?

          I think it might have had something to do with E85. Many government fleets are required to have a certain number of alternative fuel vehicles. In most fleets no one really checks to see that they are running on the alternative fuel, they just need to have them. Dual fuel Cavaliers fit the bill perfectly, since the drivers could fill them with gasoline if they couldn't figure out the CNG. Then along came E-85 flexfuel vehicles, which counted as an alternative fuel, and they were even easier, because the drivers could fill them up with gasoline or E85 right in the same tank. The flexfuel option is also a lot less expensive than the CNG option, so many of the fleets started switching to E85 as their alternative fuel of choice. This was actually happening a few years after the time period you are talking about, but I believe it's partly the reason that the big three stopped making CNG vehicles.

          This is just personal speculation, I haven't taken the time to dig up any documents to back me up.


          • #6
            Re: What happened 10 years ago?

            Ron Cogan's editorial on CNG in the Fall 2008 issue of Green Car Journal pretty well sums it up.
            Basically the government fleets were required to have them and then they took the teeth out of the rules.
            The other thing I noticed is the manufacturers marketed CNG almost exclusively to municipal fleets, they never tried anything to appeal to the public and then the manufacturers complained the public wasn't interested.
            Well they never marketed them retail. When tighter times came, and before gas prices went up, it was a very small market niche so they axed it.
            Last edited by cnghal; 12-13-2008, 06:06 PM. Reason: Added link to copy of article
            Dave Clement


            • #7
              Re: What happened 10 years ago?

              Also we never reached critical mass to overcome the dreaded "chicken or egg" dilema. If the infrastructure was better, the fleets and consumers would have been more accepting.


              • #8
                Re: What happened 10 years ago?

                To the casual observer, there are only negatives with CNG. You had to give up your trunk, your distance, and you are limited on where you can fill up. The car is more expensive, and the fuel, costs the same.