Print 54 comment(s) - last by GlobleWarmingi.. on Jul 14 at 7:04 PM

Natural gas could become the new ethanol -- the alternative fuel of choice -- if a new bill passes. Like ethanol engines, gas-natural gas dual mode engines suffer a performance loss of as much as 15 percent.  (Source:

The U.S. has among the world's most abundant natural gas deposits (regions with highest levels shown in brown).  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
A variety of vehicle weight classes are covered by new natural gas bill

A new bill, NAT GAS (New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions), has been proposed by U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV),and Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT) which looks to push natural gas vehicles into the consumer mainstream.  The proposal looks to offer a bevy of natural gas vehicle purchasing, refueling and manufacturing tax credits which would eclipse even current credits for electric vehicles.

People purchasing a light vehicle capable of running on natural gas would get a $12,500 tax credit, significantly more than the $7,500 credit offered for plug-in vehicles.  Current tax credits for three other weight classes would double, up to a maximum of $80,000 for the largest vehicle class.

Bi-fuel (gas and natural gas) vehicles would also be eligible for a 50 percent incremental cost tax credit -- this means that 50 percent of the costs that companies assume from increasing production would be offset by tax credits.  The bill would also make it 100 percent tax deductible (with some limitations) to build a facility which builds natural gas vehicles.  The bill would also offer refueling stations up to $100,000 to provide natural gas vehicle refilling pumps.

The new bill was masterminded and heavily praised by oil and natural gas baron T. Boone Pickens.  Mr. Pickens had made headlines last year, announcing a massive wind power project.  Just last week, he essentially pulled the plug on the project, and called natural gas the "only option" for the U.S.

With his heavy natural gas holdings Mr. Pickens stands to make a small fortune if the bill should pass.  Indeed, the natural gas industry as a whole would see a huge boost from the bill.

Natural gas vehicles run on methane, the primary component of natural gas.  Methane engines run approximately as efficiently as gasoline/petrol engines, but are less efficient than diesel engines.  Dual-mode engines suffer a 10 to 15 percent efficiency loss over gas-only engines, due to the higher octane number of 120-130.

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By FITCamaro on 7/13/2009 5:16:46 PM , Rating: 2
If I get a supercharger or twin turbo kit for the GTO with methanol injection, can I get the tax credit? :)

I promise to run the methanol all the time....

RE: So....
By Regs on 7/13/2009 5:31:42 PM , Rating: 2
After your 3rd or 4th speeding violation?

RE: So....
By 67STANG on 7/13/2009 6:23:15 PM , Rating: 3
Careful FIT, you wouldn't want to blow the GTO up. Might be hard to find parts for a Pontiac soon, if you know what I mean?

RE: So....
By Motoman on 7/13/2009 7:28:52 PM , Rating: 2's a Holden. Which begs the anything happening with Holden?

...which reminds me that I'd rather like to have a Holden Monaro...on methanol.

RE: So....
By StevoLincolnite on 7/14/2009 12:55:47 AM , Rating: 2
I have a Holden Commodore VX SS on LPG gas, Can't complain for under 58 Cents a Liter, I have a 75 Liter Tank, and I can do about 750km's on a single tank highway driving, and considering it usually costs me about $35 to fill it up. (You can never fully fill an LPG gas tank up) - It's a bargain compared to petrol.

Also the benefits on the "Greeny" side of things are (Taken directly from the almighty wikipedia):

LPG is a low carbon emitting hydrocarbon fuel available in rural areas, emitting 19 percent less CO2 per kWh than oil, 30 percent less than coal and more than 50 percent less than coal-generated electricity distributed via the grid. Being a mix of propane and butane, LPG emits more carbon per joule than propane and LPG emits less carbon per joule than butane.

I run my car only on LPG, I refuse to use Petrol because of the insane costs attributed to it.

The other interesting thing is that the Australian Government had a rebate-kind-of-system in place for some time now to get LPG gas conversion where they pay 2 grand off the price.

That was fine and dandy and all.
Before they brought in the Rebates an LPG gas conversion it ended up costing me $1850, now with the rebate the price jumped to a total of $2900 (As I found out when I got the second car converted) so in the end the price jumped because the government was paying a large sum for it, not that I am complaining, I still came out ahead, but it's interesting to see how companies will jump on it and get every single cent they can.

Australia is in a different position with it's LPG fuel supply than America, most Service stations have it available, it's cheap and it's been at a more stable price than Petrol or Diesel in the past here.

RE: So....
By 67STANG on 7/14/2009 4:43:07 AM , Rating: 2
I stand corrected. He'll be able to find them easily then-- provided he'll pay the shipping from Australia... ;-)

Looks like they cut into 30% of Holden's production:

If we're picking from Australia, I'd rather have the Ford Falcon XR. Better built.

RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 7/13/2009 11:04:26 PM , Rating: 2
You know how easy it is to find LS2 parts? Now affording them is another matter.

RE: So....
By FITCamaro on 7/13/2009 11:05:45 PM , Rating: 2
Oh and you can easily bolt on 120-150 whp with a maggie or a TT kit on the stock bottom end.

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