Thursday, September 4, 2008

Natural Gas Cars Need Natural Gas Filling Stations

PHOENIX, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Less pollution and cheaper fuel prices have not triggered a high U.S. demand for natural gas powered cars, industry observers said.

Compressed natural gas-powered cars "pretty much beat the socks off any other vehicle out there," said Al Brown, a former CNG Honda Civic owner, who recently purchased Toyota Prius, a hybrid that runs on gasoline and electricity, The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday.

The problem, Brown said, was the lack of demand for compressed natural gas led to the closing of two CNG stations he frequented. Eventually, "I had to drive significantly out of my way -- 10 miles round trip twice a week," to refill his Honda.

In Arizona, the 6,000 owners of CNG cars find their numbers are shrinking, causing refilling stations to close and increasing worries about who will tend to repairs. With a lack of infrastructure and repair support, CNG car owners are finding their vehicles harder to sell, the Republic reported.

However, some believe CNG cars still have a future.

"Just listen to the politicians. They're all talking about it now," Randy Fleischhauer, a retired risk manager attorney told the newspaper.

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