The Pros and Cons of Natural Gas Vehicles

Awareness to global warming sets new development in automotive industries. The manufacturers are competing to provide environmentally friendly vehicles that use alternative energy. Gasoline, which used to the the main fuel, has now been replaced by batteries, electricity and now Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). Each of these alternatives, surely, has its own benefits and drawbacks. CNG, however, seems to bridge the extreme sides.

CNG is the newly invented fuel compared to gasoline and its supply is considered to still be abundant so there is no need to worry about running out of this resource. Not only the long lasting supply, CNG is believed to be more environmentally friendly because according to EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), it emits 25% less air pollutants than diesel powered engine. Those who sincerely care about air pollution and aim at reducing it, or simply live in an area with strict emission policy, may consider this new type of gas.

Apart from the issue mentioned above, there are two other aspects that usually become the main concerns of car owners and drivers: cost and safety.

When it comes to cost, a lot of people seem to believe that the most expensive ones are hybrid and electric cars. Quite a large sum of money is not simply needed at the time of purchase, but also for the maintenance. Both the batteries and dual engine system need more sophisticated equipment and may need special mechanics with the expertise, which no wonder causes more spending. This might also be the reason why that although electric cars with its batteries or hybrid with its electricity system are actually the best solution for the above environmental issue, not many people seem to be willing to pay the hefty costs. Conventional cars along with the ones that use CNG are available for purchase and maintenance at lower price tags as they use traditional spare parts and can be handled by any mechanics in common.

Safety comes as one of the top priorities. Both electric and hybrid cars may frighten people with its electricity and batteries. Well, the truth is in an accident, hybrid cars are prone to electrocution, gas and CNG powered cars tend to start fire, while the electric cars, which rely on batteries, take better responsibilities for its passangers, because the electricty transfer from the batteries is immediately cut.

On daily basis, though, safety can mean less worry. Electric car owners know better than to postpone recharging the cars. Electric cars need several hours to recharge and there are not a lot of charging stations available right now. It cannot be safe for them to suddenly run out of power. The same thing happens to CNG powered cars. Not many refueling stations provide CNG and the ones that provide the gas are not usually open for public. Hybrid car drivers, on the other hand, can feel relieved to find that they can practically refuel anywhere.

Considering the three aspects, CNG powered vehicles has the benefit of cost and low emission level, but in terms of safety, other kinds of cars are the better options.


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