Gasoline Engines Converted to NG?
The use of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG or simply NG), is a clean and cheap solution for domestic use. Although it is widely available for residential use, the case with natural gas vehicles (NGV) is completely different, at least as far as the United States are concerned. The advantages of natural gas (NG) as a vehicle fuel, outnumber the ones of gasoline. Just to name a few, it only costs half the price of gasoline, it is safer because it is less likely to cause an explosion or fire after an accident, and engines are less prone to wear. Honda is currently the only manufacturer supplying the US with NGVs, so a good option would be to convert older vehicles with the aid of natural gas conversion kits.
CNG conversion should be done by qualified technicians and with the use of approved conversion kits. As far as the US is concerned, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has rules and standards concerning these conversion systems and the installation of non-certified systems (available on the Internet and some automotive shops) is considered to be a federal violation. Apart from that, the installation of such systems by non-qualified installers may compromise the safety and vehicle performance.
Another factor to consider is the limited number of refueling stations, although there are available options discussed in more detail below.
The conversion itself may cost from $10,000 to $22,500 depending on the engine and the technician, but mostly on the size and number of CNG tanks. The cost is considerably high but it can be offset by fuel savings, rebates, tax credits and other state incentives.