A short time ago the vast majority of cars were diesel or gasoline. There were practically no other options. However, in the last five years everything has changed a lot. Conventional hybrid vehicles have notably increased their sales, plug-in hybrids have been correctly positioned as another alternative, the development of electric vehicles is advancing by leaps and bounds and, in addition, other Two fuels have become very important: CNG and LPG.
In this article we will explain everything about CNG in a simple way. We are going to answer basic questions such as what is CNG, where do you get this fuel, what is fifth generation CNG, how to find gas stations that supply this fuel, what cars use CNG, what is the difference in price compared to a normal car and how a car is converted to natural gas (and the price of the conversion).
The first thing to note is that CNG stands for Compressed Natural Gas.. We should not confuse it with LPG, which is Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Both are fuels and are used in vehicles, but they are different and one does not work for the other. The adaptation of the engines is also different.Related article:What is LPG? Possible car problems and their solutions
Before getting into the thick of this article, I wanted to mention that the use of CNG in vehicles is not something of recent times. Many Bus fleets, especially urban ones, have been using Compressed Natural Gas for years to power their thrusters. In this way, in addition to reducing pollution in cities, companies also reduce their expenses.
Table of Contents
- 1 Where do you get CNG from?
- 2 Advantages of CNG
- 3 Disadvantages of CNG
- 4 Gas stations with CNG
- 5 CNG cars
- 6 Price of models with CNG (how much more expensive Vs gasoline model)
- 7 Convert car to CNG
- 8 Can a diesel vehicle be converted to CNG?
Where do you get CNG from?
Like crude oil, CNG is extracted from bags on the ground, but natural gas does not come out of the same bags as oil. Compressed Natural Gas is basically made up of methane (almost 90%). Some other compounds are nitrogen and hydrocarbons, but in negligible proportions. Therefore, it is much less polluting than gasoline or diesel.
It is a natural organic resource.
A positive aspect is that does not need a long treatise on refinementsuch as gasoline or diesel. This is one of the reasons why the cost is much lower. In any case, a series of processes must be carried out to purify it and thus be able to use it as fuel in our engines.
The natural gas used in cars is the same as the one we have in our homes, but for its operation it must be subjected to high pressure.
Advantages of CNG
One of the main advantages is that CNG is a noticeably cleaner fuel than gasoline or diesel. At the time of combustion in the cylinders, the result of the explosions is practically CO2 (carbon dioxide) and H2O (water). The amount of nitrogen oxides and soot particles is practically nil.
That is why they are so clean. In fact, the combustion of CNG is less polluting than that of LPG itself, which is why they are so highly regarded by the European Union.
Due to its low pollution and the large reserves of natural gas (although they are finite), this fuel is subsidized by the EU. Although it depends on many factors and is variable for each supplier, the price of CNG at the beginning of 2020 was between 0,8 and 0,95 euros per kilo. About 40% cheaper than gasoline.
Therefore, it is not difficult to make the extra initial outlay profitable in a short time. Of course, it will depend on the number of annual kilometers traveled and the difference in price with gasoline.
We must not forget that all modern passenger cars that use CNG as fuel, regardless of their displacement or power, benefit from the Eco label of the DGT. If our car left the factory with a traditional system and was later adapted to natural gas, it is entitled to the Eco environmental label.
Logically, being a vehicle that pollutes little with the environment, in Spain it has certain tax advantages. For example, the registration tax is eliminated and the annual circulation tax (the little number we pay every year) is considerably reduced. We must not forget that, by having the Eco label, we can access the center of large cities in episodes of high pollution and that we have great advantages when parking in a regulated parking area.
Disadvantages of CNG
But not everything are advantages. There are also some cons to these CNG vehicles. The main disadvantage is that, at the moment, there are not many gas stations that have Compressed Natural Gas dispensers. It is something that must be taken into account when evaluating whether to acquire a CNG car. When making a long trip, it is necessary to plan the route well and, for routine journeys, it will be better to have a station that has this fuel close to home.
CNG cars also have a fuel tank and can run perfectly on either of these two fuels. However, to make room for the natural gas tank, brands considerably reduce the capacity of the gasoline tanks, so their autonomy with this fuel is limited, and they also tend to lose cargo space.
Continuing with the inconveniences, when buying the car (already prepared from the factory), its price is usually higher than an equivalent gasoline car. However, due to the low cost of this fuel and its efficiency, it will not take long to cover this amortization. Of course, it must be taken into account that prices can change, and CNG is more advantageous the greater the price difference between gasoline and diesel.
Currently the price difference between a gasoline car and a CNG car is usually around 2.000 euros, with similar benefits.
Experts in transformations and the manufacturers themselves say that maintenance should be more strictly. It is true that a well-maintained engine should last as long as a similar gasoline engine. However, it is necessary to be more aware of the revisions despite the fact that the combustions are cleaner. The reason is that CNG is somewhat more corrosive and the entire CNG system must be checked every "x" years, when the manufacturer recommends it.Related article:Cars with LPG and CNG in 2022: differences and prices
Finally, with the same mechanics and driving, a car needs to spend a little more CNG than gasoline to cover the same distance; around 5%. It is also true that performance (power and torque) is reduced by about 10%, although in normal driving situations it is difficult to perceive this. In summary, it yields very little less and spends very little more;or what is the same, the difference is almost imperceptible.
Gas stations with CNG
As we mentioned in the disadvantages section, there are currently not many service stations that have compressed natural gas pumps for cars. Of course, it is true that they are becoming more and more and there are programs to expand them.
According to GASNAM (Iberian Association that promotes the use of Natural Gas and Renewable Gas in land and sea mobility), there are currently 81 active CNG gas stations on the peninsula. In the same way, they communicate that there are another 32 in project or in works that will be opened soon. Catalonia (19), Community of Madrid (19), Castilla La Mancha (9), Valencian Community (9) and Andalusia (8) are the autonomous communities with the most CNG refueling points.
Regarding the car manufacturers that offer their “home” products with Compressed Natural Gas, they are not all, but it is true that more and more are investigating and trying to put products with this fuel on the market. Currently, the manufacturer with the most CNG models is the Volkswagen Group. In fact, the Spanish brand Seat is the one that has been in charge of the study and development of these systems for the entire group.
The most commercialized are the Seat Ibiza, Seat León, Seat Arona, Skoda Octavia and Fiat Panda. There are also models from Audi, such as the A3 or A4, and from Volkswagen, such as the Golf or Polo. As we said, Seat seems to be the one who has taken the CNG flag in Europe.
Price of models with CNG (how much more expensive Vs gasoline model)
As we mentioned before, it has always been said that there is a notable price difference when buying a gasoline car and another identical model with similar benefits with CNG; around 2.000 euros. The best way to compare it is by taking a look at the brand's configurators. We have opted for one of the most demanded cars in our country, the Seat Ibiza.
According to the configurator of the Spanish brand, a Seat Ibiza 1.0 TGI 90 CV (CNG) in Style Plus finish and without adding extras, has an official price of 17.290 euros. On the contrary, in an Ibiza 1.0 TSI 95 CV (petrol) in the same finish and without extras we see a price of 15.580 euros. The difference according to the configurator is 1.710 euros. For that matter, the same car with a 95 hp TDI (diesel) engine costs 17.750 euros, 460 euros more expensive than the CNG and 2.170 euros more than the gasoline one.
Convert car to CNG
If we have a gasoline car and we want to convert it to CNG, there are not too many problems. The only thing we must take into account is that it must be at least Euro3, that is, the cars that currently have the DGT sticker B (yellow); from there on.Related article:The DGT classifies cars based on pollution with colored labels
Depending on whether they use mechanics with indirect or direct injection, the price will be higher or lower. The indirect injection (which as a general rule tend to be somewhat older) are somewhat cheaper. The higher the number of cylinders, the price also rises. As a general rule, the transformation costs between 2.000 and 3.000 eurosalthough it depends on several factors. Among other things, because there are cars in which it is easier than others (more or less labor time and more or less modifications to the vehicle).
Logically, this transformation to CNG must be carried out in an approved center. Once our car has already been modified, the first thing we must do is pass the ITV with all the pertinent documentation of the vehicle and the one that they have given us in the workshop about the modification. If everything goes according to plan and there are no incidents on the ITV, the next step is go to a Traffic Headquarters so that the record of our vehicle is modified and, consequently, they give us the Eco label of the DGT.
Can a diesel vehicle be converted to CNG?
The answer is yes, you can convert a diesel vehicle to CNG. However, due to the diesel duty cycle (which is different from gasoline) and the properties of natural gas, it is more complicated and much more expensive than in a gasoline engine. It costs much more to return on investment. Therefore, we do not see diesel CNG cars. However, some industrial vehicles, trucks or buses have carried out these adaptations. The reason is that, since these vehicles spend so much fuel, it is more feasible to be able to recover the investment over time and kilometers.
What is CNG advantages and disadvantages? ›
CNG vehicles are well-known for their environmental friendliness. However, this advantage comes at the expense of performance. CNG-powered cars are often less powerful than their diesel and gasoline rivals. The additional weight of a CNG vehicle can be used to counteract the vehicle's performance.What is CNG and its advantages? ›
Commonly referred to as the green fuel because of its lead and sulphur free character, CNG reduces harmful emissions. Being non-corrosive, it enhances the longevity of spark plugs. Due to the absence of any lead or benzene content in CNG, the lead fouling of spark plugs, and lead or benzene pollution are eliminated.What are the advantages and disadvantages of natural gas vehicles? ›
CNG Vehicles - PROs: Compressed Natural Gas burns cleaner and cost less than gasoline. CONs: Limited range, huge tanks, non-renewable source and few refueling stations.What are the three advantages of CNG? ›
1) They have low calorific value. 2) They can be transported easily through pipelines. 3) They are clean fuels and do not give smoke when burnt.What are 3 disadvantages of natural gas? ›
- Natural gas is a nonrenewable resource. As with other fossil energy sources (i.e. coal and oil) natural gas is a limited source of energy and will eventually run out. ...
- Storage. ...
- Natural Gas Emits Carbon Dioxide. ...
- Natural gas can be difficult to harness.
Compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles operate much like gasoline-powered vehicles with spark-ignited internal combustion engines. The engine functions the same way as a gasoline engine. Natural gas is stored in a fuel tank, or cylinder, typically at the back of the vehicle.What are the advantages of natural gas? ›
Natural Gas Benefits and Considerations. Whether produced via conventional or renewable methods, the advantages of natural gas as an alternative fuel include its domestic availability, established distribution network, relatively low cost, and emissions benefits.What are the advantages and disadvantages of CNG and LPG? ›
Which of the following are the advantages of using CNG and LPG as fuels? 1) They have low calorific value. 2) They can be transported easily through pipelines. 3) They are clean fuels and do not give smoke when burnt.Which is not an advantage of CNG? ›
<br> The main problem with switching over to CNG is the difficulty of laying down pipelines to deliver CNG through distribution point or pumps and ensuring uninterrupted supply.Why CNG is becoming more expensive? ›
A spurt in global energy prices has led to a 70 per cent jump in the price of CNG in the last one year. This has narrowed the gap between the fuel and diesel, blurring the incentive to shift to the cleaner fuel.
Are CNG vehicles good? ›
They run quieter than gasoline-powered cars, though not as quiet as EVs. CNG-powered cars are arguably better for the environment than gasoline-powered cars, as they emit less pollution. Studies vary, but most find that CNG-powered cars emit at least 20% fewer greenhouse gases than gasoline-powered cars.What are disadvantages of gas cars? ›
- Significant CO2 emissions contributing to global warming.
- Major source of pollution.
- Noisy and stress-inducing.
- Fossil fuels can generate a large amount of electricity at a single location.
- They can be found very easily.
- They are cost-effective.
- Transportation of oil and gas can be done easily through pipelines.
- They have become safer over time.
Gas-powered cars are easy to use, easy to fuel, and have a driving range that makes them practical for long-haul road trips. These advantages, along with the generally lower up front costs to buy them, make gas-powered cars attractive for many drivers.Is CNG good or bad? ›
CNG is not only good for the environment and your car but also is a great fuel from a safety perspective. Irrespective of the fuel type, always secure your finances with a car insurance policy. In this article, we will cover the advantages of buying a CNG fitted car over a car running on conventional fuel types.What is CNG Why is it better fuel for vehicles? ›
CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) is considered to be a better fuel than petrol as it is less harmful to environment and less costly than petrol. It burn smokeless and also doesn't produce deadly and harmful gases as petrol produces.Why is CNG good for the environment? ›
a) The use of CNG significantly reduces harmful vehicular exhaust gas emissions like carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other suspended particles. b) It protects the environment by reducing the effects of global warming. c) Non –toxic, non-corrosive, non-carcinogenic and hence improves public health.What is the biggest disadvantage of natural gas? ›
Natural Gas Emits Carbon Dioxide: One of the biggest disadvantage of natural gas is that it emits carbon dioxide which is bad for our atmosphere. Constant introduction of carbon dioxide into our atmosphere will lead to climate change and also global warming.What are 2 pros and cons of natural gas? ›
Natural gas is a cleaner alternative to oil and coal – and a “bridge” fuel to a renewable energy economy. Extracting natural gas through fracking is good for the economy and makes us less dependent on Middle East oil. Fracking wrecks the environment and causes earthquakes.Why CNG is the best fuel? ›
Petrol and diesel on burning produces black smoke with many poisonous gases which causes environmental pollution. where as CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) burns almost without smoke also CNG does not produce any poisonous gases. Hence it does not cause air pollution.
What is CNG gas made from? ›
CNG is produced by compressing natural gas to less than 1% of its volume at standard atmospheric pressure. To provide adequate driving range, CNG is stored onboard a vehicle in a compressed gaseous state at a pressure of up to 3,600 pounds per square inch.Why CNG is called a good fuel? ›
LPG and CNG burn completely and do not leave a residue. They produce a less amount of CO2, hence are known as clean fuels.Is natural gas more expensive? ›
Natural gas prices up more than 300% since January 2022.What are the advantages and disadvantages of methane? ›
It is considered to be a cleaner alternative to oil and coal, is richer in carbon, and found abundantly in nature. However, methane is considered a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and can be hazardous to store and manage.What is the disadvantage of CNG and LPG? ›
Disadvantages of Both CNG and LPG
The storage space required for the cylinders that are kept in isolation for their safety in both types of gases is more compared to liquid fuels. In both the gases, the consumption is more as compared to liquid fuels like petrol and diesel.
- It is non-toxic, non- corrosive in nature.
- It burns cleanly and has high octane rating i.g. more than 100 RON (Research Octane Number).
- LPG engines have less knocking/ vibration.
- It does not produce harmful emission like CO, NOx and higher hydrocarbons.
- LPG has lower energy density than gasoline or diesel and hence the equivalent fuel consumption is more.
- LPG provides less upper cylinder valve lubrication. ...
- It does not disperse easily and is readily inflammable.
Emission reductions: fuelling with LNG or CNG compared with diesel or gasoline. GHG emissions: Natural gas vehicles emit up to 30 per cent less GHG emissions. Nitrogen oxides (NOx): Natural gas vehicles emit up to 95 per cent less NOx.Why is CNG not used? ›
One of the reasons is the final cost of cars. On an average, CNG kits cost Rs 80,000 to Rs 90,000 over the cost of a regular petrol car.Why CNG is the future? ›
CNG is an environmental-friendly fuel alternative that reduces air pollution. “Compared with petroleum-based fuels, it reduces nitrogen oxide emissions by 30-60% and carbon-monoxide emissions by up to 97%,” Abdelaziz Khlaifat, Professor of Petroleum Engineering, told the American University in Cairo (AUC).
Is CNG the future? ›
Yes; as of July 2022, there were 4,664 CNG stations in India against 3,095 on March 2021 and only 995 in 2015. These are still small numbers when compared to petrol or diesel—over 80,000 pumps, indicating ample headroom for growth. The government is planning to increase the number of CNG stations to 8,000 by 2024.Is CNG cost effective? ›
CNG has always been considered a cheaper alternate for cars as compared to conventional fuels like petrol or diesel. However, just like petrol and diesel prices, the cost of CNG is skyrocketing too in some cities across the country.How long does CNG last? ›
CNG Tank End-of-Life
CNG fuel tanks have a useful life of 15 to 20 years, depending on their construction and how they were certified by the original manufacturer. Because there is no way to safely "requalify" tanks for extended use, once a tank reaches its expiration date, it must be replaced.
"A regular gasoline-powered car averages 32 miles per gallon while a CNG-powered car averages 43 miles per gallon," Darian says, referring to compressed natural gas.How long do CNG vehicles last? ›
Typically, CNG cylinders have a useful life of 15 to 20 years, as determined by the ANSI NGV2 (natural gas vehicle) standard.What are the disadvantages of cars? ›
The Disadvantages of Cars
They're expensive to buy, maintain and insure. They emit air pollution that can harm your health. They contribute to global warming and climate change. They cause accidents and injuries when they run people over or collide with other vehicles on the road.
A conventional car can last for 200,000 miles. Some well-maintained car models will reach 300,000 or more miles total. The average passenger car age is currently around 12 years in the United States. Choosing a well-built make and model can help extend your car's longevity.Do gas cars last longer than electric? ›
While battery life used to be a concern for prospective EV owners, modern technology has allowed EVs to last as long if not longer than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles.What is the disadvantage of fuel? ›
Pollution is a major disadvantage of fossil fuels. This is because they give off carbon dioxide when burned thereby causing a greenhouse effect. This is also the main contributory factor to the global warming experienced by the earth today.What are 3 disadvantages of petroleum? ›
- Oil is a non-renewable source of energy. ...
- Burning oil produces carbon dioxide gas. ...
- Burning oil can pollute the air.
- Much of our oil has to be imported and it is becoming more and more expensive as reserves reduce and imports increase.
Do electric cars have gas backup? ›
A battery-powered car, or Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV), does not have a gasoline or diesel engine and instead has an electric motor, power electronics, and a battery pack. Battery cars have a longer all-electric range than a plug-in hybrid, but they do not have a fuel backup.Which gas is better for your car? ›
While most cars are fine running on regular gasoline, high-performance engines have features that require premium gas to run their best. Premium gas is often needed for large, heavy-duty vehicles or sports cars.How long do electric car batteries last? ›
Electric car battery technology
This decreases the range and time needed between each journey to charge. Most manufacturers have a five to eight-year warranty on their battery. However, the current prediction is that an electric car battery will last from 10 – 20 years before they need to be replaced.
The major drawback of owning a CNG car is space. Placement of the CNG tank in the boot eats a major chunk of the trunk capacity. This leads to a little or in some cars no availability of boot space. CNG refueling is done within some minutes but what consumes time are those long cues on the CNG pumps.Is CNG car worth buying? ›
CNG cars are gaining popularity over other fuel types due to a host of advantages. CNG is not only good for the environment and your car but also is a great fuel from a safety perspective. Irrespective of the fuel type, always secure your finances with a car insurance policy.Why people don t buy CNG cars? ›
One of the reasons is the final cost of cars. On an average, CNG kits cost Rs 80,000 to Rs 90,000 over the cost of a regular petrol car.Is CNG car good for long drive? ›
Small CNG tank: The CNG fuel tanks (cylinders) are smaller than petrol tanks. Hence, it results in a shorter driving range. However, you can use a CNG car for long drives as you can easily switch to petrol fuel if you run out of CNG.How long can a CNG car last? ›
Usually, a CNG cylinder can last anywhere between 15-20 years.What vehicles take CNG fuel? ›
CNG options are far more common from truck and van manufacturers. Ford, GM, and Ram all offer CNG or bi-fuel options on most trucks and cargo vans. They are mostly sold to companies that operate large fleets of them.Do CNG cars need more maintenance? ›
A CNG car requires a little extra care than your petrol car and has a high maintenance cost. However, the high maintenance cost is balanced with the super mileage it gives if you use it to drive long distances and take all precautions.
Does CNG spoil the engine? ›
1. Does CNG reduce engine life? The most common question asked is if using CNG as a fuel reduced an engine's life. Well, CNG does not reduce a vehicle's engine life if the kit is factory-fitted and maintained timely.Why CNG is not used in USA? ›
Lack of Infrastructure
There are less than 2,000 CNG refueling stations in the entire country. You can, on the other hand, find a gasoline station in pretty much every corner. This again is a key reason why many people are hesitant to buy CNG powered vehicles.
A car owner must regularly check the CNG fuel cylinder for leakage. Improper fitting of the CNG kit or overfilling the fuel cylinder often leads to gas leakage resulting in a fire and bursting of the cylinder.How long does a full CNG tank last? ›
You may be able to drive an average of 200 miles on a full tank (or 100 miles each way). However, mileage varies depending on driving conditions, so pay attention to your fuel light. The fuel light indicates you can travel approximately 22 more miles before running out of fuel, depending on your driving conditions.Can I park CNG car in sunlight? ›
Always remember to tight the CNG gas lead. Remember to park your car in shade Whenever possible, park your car in shade or under tree so that it doesn't allow the sunlight to pass in the car, thereby, protecting the chances of CNG gas evaporation.What happens when a CNG car runs out of gas? ›
If I run out of fuel (CNG) and tow the vehicle at a fuel station will I need to “bleed” the fuel system after it is refueled? No, the high pressure system will recharge with fuel as soon as the ignition switch is turned on.How long does it take to refuel a CNG vehicle? ›
It takes approximately five minutes to refill a vehicle with CNG. The CNG dispenser shows the pressure and temperature going into the tank and then displays how many GGEs (gasoline gallon equivalents) are going into your vehicle.