General Motors (GM), the largest U.S. carmaker, is planning to become the first to sell a bi-fuel-powered car that can run on either regular gasoline or compressed natural gas. CEO Dan Akerson will unveil GM's plans Tuesday afternoon at the Securing America's Future Energy Conference in Washington.
CNG tank, even at just 5,000 psi is quite heavy and hold limited fuel. It will take most of the trunk space. Then there is the space needed for the gasoline tank. Fire hazard? Honda offers a Civic NG, but not too much success.
Fire hazard? Imagine what a hit to the CNG tank will do. It would blow up and in turn blow up the gasoline tank. A nice gasoline/NG mixture with Oxygen! Very explosive. The US military used them in Vietnam. Make the Ford Pinto look like a firecracker.
CNG-LNG vehicles are extremely popular on foreign shores:
"CNG/LNG vehicles have already been incorporated into bus and taxi fleets in 100 cities across the country [China]. In Chongqing, 85 percent of taxis and 92 percent of buses are using an LNG engine. In Shanghai, Chengdu, Xi’an, Xinjiang and Hebei, these percentages are above 90 percent. Despite a decline in the commercial truck market in 2011, trucks using natural gas fuel increased by 7.6 percent... The total nationwide taxi volume in China is more than 1.1 million units, with an estimated 50 percent having adopted gas engines. China is already among the top seven [natural] gas vehicle markets in the world..." (Forbes, 4/13/2012)
Um, ok, but how about a couple of small details:
1. Where will you fill the CNG tank?
2. If you said at home, do you know how much a CNG compressor is? Do you know how long it takes to fill? Do you know what the electricity cost is to run it?
3. If you didn't say at home, how many CNG refueling stations are there in the country? Enough to go cross country?
4. Which is cheaper to operate, CNG/bi-fuel cars or EVs?
That's like 6 strikes-you're out.
I don't like it - I don't see how burning one fuel instead of another is better. CNG and LNG is good for power plants and trucking. The Volt makes far more sense than a CNG/GAS combo car. Akerson on CNBC said they will sell 1000 of them the first year. Doesn't seem like a good idea since NG prices are low now but may not stay low forever despite the drilling/fracking. Maybe it's a compliance car of some type?