Natural gas and transportation

In addition to fueling light and medium-duty vehicles, natural gas is the only alternative fuel to diesel and gasoline that can power heavy-duty vehicles.

Natural gas costs, on average, one third less than conventional gasoline at the pump1. With numerous transportation applications and a growing network of fueling stations, NGVs are an ideal solution to North America's growing petroleum dependence.

Learn more about using natural gas for transportation at Go With Natural Gas, a collaborative initiative between industry partners and the Federal Government of Canada.

Benefits of using natural gas for transportation

The transportation sector is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, making it all the more urgent to create a low-carbon economy based on natural gas. NGVs reduce the harmful environmental and health impacts associated with exhaust from gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.

Emissions reductions for natural gas vehicles compared to diesel trucks

Affordable

Not only does natural gas make the most sense environmentally, it is also easier on consumers' pocketbooks:

  • on an energy-equivalent basis, abundant supplies of natural gas are available at less than half the price of a barrel of oil (based on 2009 prices)
  • when used for transportation purposes, natural gas is approximately 20 to 30 percent more affordable than gasoline and diesel

Abundant

The vast domestic abundance of natural gas offers a secure, made-in-North America energy solution:

  • technological innovations and recent discoveries show North America has an estimated 100-year supply of natural gas2
  • every one percent increase in natural gas production creates up to 35,000 jobs3
  • displacing oil for transportation purposes could positively impact the North American trade balance by a staggering average of $160 billion every year4
Natural gas provides fuel for 12 million vehicles worldwide and is considered safer and cheaper than gasoline.

Safe

The properties of natural gas as a fuel, the reliability of NGVs and the fuel delivery system make natural gas a safe alternative to gasoline:

  • all natural gas fueling stations must be built to federal standards that ensure high levels of safety5
  • natural gas, compressed or liquefied, will evaporate into the air in the event of a leak or rupture, unlike gasoline that will pool on the ground creating a fire hazard6
  • the fuel storage cylinders used in CNG vehicles are stronger than gasoline fuel tanks7

Natural gas vehicles can be powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Learn about compressed natural gas

Learn about liquefied natural gas

Sources

  1. Encana estimate
  2. EIA, CSUG, IHS Energy, National Energy Board
  3. IHS Global Insight - September 2009 - The Contributions of the Natural Gas Industry to the U.S. National and State Economies. Approximately 50,000 jobs are added per Bcf/d, and a 1 percent increase is about 0.7 Bcf/d = 35,000 jobs
  4. Encana calculation (25 Bcf/d = approximately 1.6 billion barrels of oil x $100/barrel)
  5. Clean Vehicle Education Foundation - external source
  6. Natural Gas Vehicles for America (NGVA) - external source
  7. Driveclean

Contact our Natural Gas Economy team

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