Dual-fuel vehicles could be the next big thing
Not to be confused with flex-fuel cars and trucks, dual-fuel vehicles will be able to work with two widely varied combustibles. Most fortuitously applicable to large trucks, the technology will require both petrol and natural gas storage tanks.
If natural gas is not available, the truck could run on gasoline only. If petrol prices get too high, it could run on natural gas only, as well – a great advantage in places like Wyoming where it’s a 30-mile drive to the neighborhood WalMart and natural gas is everywhere.
According to a report by Mark Koebrich on 9NEWS, a new dual-fuel production model of the Dodge Ram has a load-bearing compressed natural gas (CNG) tank immediately behind the cab with the normal gas tank in the usual place.
Reportedly, dual-fuel Ram Heavy Duty trucks, along with a competing pair from GM, will be in select showrooms this summer. They will take on Ford’s CNG trucks that have been available since 2009. Dual-fuel sedans are expected to follow later in the year.
Natural gas prices range from $1.49 to $2.59 in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah producing dramatic savings on large trucks that can require up to $200 to fill with petrol at today's rates.
Koebrich talked with David Padgett, who owns a Honda Civic CNG sedan – Honda has been selling a few of these natural gas vehicles annually for years.
"It's costing me one-third of the cost of commuting with gasoline as it does to commute with natural gas,” he said. “I wouldn't drive anything else.”
He pays $2.59 for the equivalent of a gallon of gas at a commercial refueling pump on the outskirts of town.