Paul Traub’s presentation for us last week at the Chicago Fed Detroit Branch noted the divergence between the price of natural gas and petroleum (diesel, gasoline). Furthermore, he argued that this differential won’t be arbitraged away. (See a blog by Ed Dolan on the impact on the market from increased exports.)

So what of the response? We noted that CNG is now available coast-to-coast thanks to investment by major truck stop operators. You can tune into a free webinar by Westport [<==link], a CNG conversion company.

But here I want to make a very different point: the sponsors are a range of specialized publications. These are specific to trucking, but if you look you will find a host of similar print and web journals (with associated conferences) reflecting the sophistication and breadth of the industry. So here we have: Automotive Fleet, Business Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, and Heavy Duty Trucking.

3 comments to CNG

  • oliver

    With the status of natural gas in the United States, I think that it would make good sense to have many of our vehicles run on the fuel. In China all the taxi trunks I saw into had large tanks for CNG. The fuel may not be quite as potent as gasoline or disel, but it is far cheaper. I can’t see the CNG really taking off for the average American consumer, but I’ve read that some commercial fleets are making the change, While there may be coast-to-coast CNG refueling stations, there aren’t enough for widespread convenience. Commercial Fleets with many trucks have the possibility of centralized fueling, which makes adoption of CNG attractive.

  • asher

    Also consider how CNG can be used in urban areas for public transportation. New Delhi was once the most polluted city in the world (and it is by no means a paradise now, trust me) but it has relinquished this unenviable title since switching to CNG fueled buses and taxis, eliminating much of the smog in a city where public transportation plays an enormous role (both in providing mobility to the poor and fighting traffic congestion).

    Now the city is planning to shut down its three coal-based power plants and replace them with natural gas based plants (two of the city’s five power-plants are already running on natural gas). Obstacles stand in the way (creating the gas-line infrastructure, which is difficult in a country with tribal and ambiguous land ownership, rampant corruption, and notorious bureaucratic hurdles).

  • CDL

    I read that Lowes in North Carolina, FedEx, Schneider National, and UPS are all converting their CMVs over to natural gas. There may be costs associated with the conversion right now but, in the long run, the change over will benefit everyone, not just the trucking industry..