Monday, March 12, 2012

Save Money, Drive Green

Here's the story of Bill Edwards (aka "CNGInjun" on Twitter).  Click here to view the original article in PDF form.

Nabholz Sustainability on the Road
Save Money, Drive Green: Bill Edwards, Tulsa

Everybody knows that contractors love their trucks, and with those trucks come big fuel bills.

Bill Edwards, senior project manager in Tulsa, got tired of spending money.  So he made a change that is paying off.

"I travel many miles each month for Nabholz business, and because of that I ended up selling my Dodge pickup truck several years ago and down sized to a Honda Accord (going from 12 MPG to 30 MPG was a big jump).  Since I recently moved from the OKC office to the Tulsa office and started building a new house, I really needed a pickup again."

Bill's friend in the natural gas industry talked up the benefits of bi-fuel vehicles and compressed natural gas (CNG).  "After seeing the success my friend has had with his "fleet" of CNG vehicles, I knew that I had to get one myself," Bill says.  He purchased a bi-fuel truck.

It isn't all a piece of cake, but times are changing.  At first finding fuel was a challenge, but more stations are coming online with CNG.  If you have a bi-fuel vehicle, using a different fuel type is simple, but the process can be costly if you try to convert a regular vehicle to CNG.

"One of the biggest advantages CNG provides is the price.  A classic example is a driver who uses natural gas vehicle (NGV) that is powered by CNG for about 50 miles daily.  This car owner is able to save more than $2,068 per year by taking advantage of the $1.29 per gasoline gallon equivalent CNG when compared to other drivers who pay $3.00 per gallon for gas.  CNG is typically at least 50% cheaper than gasoline.  Right now in Tulsa the difference is $1.29 vs $2.99 (or 57% cheaper)," Bill explains.

Not only is CNG cheaper, it gives consumers fuel economy.  Regardless of the fuel type used, the mileage per gallon is the same.  "Consider the price of gasoline and how far you can drive for $50: with CNG in my F-150 truck I can go 581 miles on CNG and with regular gasoline I can only go 250 miles.  That makes a huge difference when looked at over a long period of time," he says.

When compared to regular gasoline, CNG emits fewer harmful emissions such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons,  nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides.  These contribute to air pollution, cause health problems, and a host of environmental problems.

When comparing CNG to other alternative fuels, it is the only one that could be a "complete" replacement for foreign oil.  "Emergency generators, school buses and trash trucks are running on CNG right now in Tulsa.  How long would it take to develop any other alternative fuel to do that?"