Appalachian Basin

Cleveland’s NatGasCar Makes CNG Transition Safe, Clean

This week, EID-Ohio visited NatGasCar in Cleveland’s Industrial Innovation Center on the east side of the city.  Founded in 2009, the company designs and manufactures compressed natural gas conversion systems, high pressure fuel systems, and home refueling appliances.  The domestic resource of natural gas, made possible by the expanding development in the Utica-Point Pleasant and Marcellus shale formations, encouraged them to pull together individuals in the industry to perfect CNG systems so more people could take advantage of the cheap, clean-burning fuel. They provide light duty and heavy duty truck dealers with turn-key, certified vehicles that operate on compressed natural gas.

They’ve made it so simple, all the driver has to do is press a button.

NatGasCar helps companies realize the benefits of transitioning their fleets to natural gas.  They facilitated Ace Taxi transition 20 of their minivans to CNG for airport transportation.  35 more of Ace’s vehicles are in the works to make the switch.  Ace has saved an average of $150 a week per driver using CNG.  It makes sense for fleets to switch to CNG because they return to a central location.  Fleets that do switch can expect not only lower fuel costs, but also decreased carbon emissions.  Natural gas vehicles burn 20-30% less carbon dioxide.  Using CNG also extends the life cycle of engines because it creates less carbon build up than traditional gasoline.

NatGasCar is continually coming out with conversion systems for new vehicles.  They offer systems for the Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra 6.0L, Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Caravan, Chevrolet Express and GMC 6.0L & 4.8L cargo vans, the Chrysler 200 Convertible and 200 Sedan, Dodge Avenger, and Dodge Journey. Vehicles can either be bi-fuel systems or dedicated systems.  Bi-fuel systems start with gasoline then switch to natural gas and can switch back to gasoline if CNG runs low.  Dedicated systems start and run on just compressed natural gas.

John Laine, Manager of Fleets Sales at NatGasCar showed us the ease of filling up on natural gas:

A focus of NatGasCar is the facilitating, servicing, and manufacturing CNG conversion and home fueling systems is safety and compliance.  While some of the public may be concerned over the safety of high pressure tanks attached to their vehicle, the company told us these tanks are actually more safe than traditional gas tanks.  The tanks go through bonfire, drop, and shotgun tests before getting to market.

NatGasCar is completely EPA certified and doesn’t skimp on any regulation or safety practices to cut costs.  Instead, they continue to research and develop new technology that will cut costs.  They are currently developing the Ecowise Refueling system, meant to allow individuals to refuel in their own garages.  With the system, drivers could fill up on a gallon equivalent of natural gas for forty cents because of low natural gas prices and federal incentives.

John took some time to chat with EID about the company and how shale development is helping it grow rapidly:

The continued exploration of shale here in Ohio is important because in order to keep up with the demand and fleets adopting natural gas we need to continue to explore for natural gas here in Ohio and other states—John Laine (1:08)

NatGasCar has developed an installation and service network all over the country to make sure companies in any region can take advantage of natural gas vehicles.  The company is growing rapidly due to a hard-working team and an incredible resource underneath their feet.  It is exciting to see a company in Ohio using growing shale development to build a business and help other companies become environmentally friendly and cut costs.  As shale development continues to grow in eastern Ohio, we can expect more companies like NatGasCar to grow and prosper.

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