Not long ago, there was a growing movement to make use of our abundant supply of natgas* as a motor fuel. Cars and light pickups were retrofitted, and often you could switch fuels to use whichever was available. Many municipalities did, and still do power their buses and garbage trucks with natural gas. Some automakers, Toyota I believe, even offered a natural gas model for a short time.
The savings were there, both in fuel cost and reduced emissions. The government started to worry about how to get their highways maintained, as the fuel tax was their only source of revenue.
As with early EVs, range was limited, but if you had natural gas at home, you could buy a small compressor and top off your tank at home each night. The compressors were about the size of a large shop vac, and it made perfect sense, especially when fuel approached $4.00/gallon, as it did before the Great Recession.
EQT even sponsored a natural gas refueling station in Pittsburgh, but quietly closed it in 2016. Seems it could have been an additional source of revenue for the largest natural gas company in the US.
I studied the concept in deep detail back in 2011, even going as far as to purchase a dual-fuel Ford Explorer from the New York Dept. of Sanitation. By my estimation, if you had free gas on your farm, as many did in Appalachia, you could save some serious money. I did learn that running on straight natural gas was dirty, and hard on the spark plugs. You needed to run it on gasoline every now and then to clean them up.
Does anyone have any comments or feedback on why this concept did not take off? I expect we will see $4.00 fuel again in the near future, and we will need another alternative. Today, Toby Rice is Chairman of EQT, and he proudly drives a Tesla. My how times change...
*Natgas is a registered trademark owned by Jack Douglas Taylor, and is used with his permission.