Re-fueling Natural Gas has Become More Efficient and Readily Available
By Rory O’Sullivan –
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has unveiled a better way for natural gas vehicles to get the fuel they need. Southern California currently has nearly 300 compressed natural gas fueling stations serving more than 17,000 natural gas-powered vehicles.
The Microbox, developed by Galileo Corp. “is the first Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) fueling station in a box in the United States,” according to officials.
The compact, self-contained fueling station provides compressed natural gas for about $2 per gasoline gallon equivalent to NGV’s. This fueling station could lead to lower construction and maintenance costs, faster vehicle fueling, minimized installation time and a smaller physical footprint.
“Clean, abundant, low cost technology is here and it’s American,” said Hal D. Snyder, Vice President of Customer Solutions at SoCalGas.
The City of Riverside is a leader in the use of clean-burning natural gas to power its fleet of 250 vehicles, which include cars, busses, vans, trucks and street sweepers.
“Clean air means better health and well being for all of us,” said Mayor Ron Loveridge. “CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) vehicles improve air quality in the Inland Empire … that helps all of us breathe a little easier.”
Currently 72 percent of Riverside’s fleet are NGV vehicles but the mayor is committed to having the entire fleet being run on natural gas.
Riverside’s commitment to improving air quality and reducing fuel costs has gained the support of the governor’s office.
“SoCalGas and the Mayor walk the talk,” said Joel Ayala from Governor Brown’s Office. “…This is the type of technology and investment our regional innovation clusters seek to enhance.”
SoCalGas is also committed to natural gas and will add 1,000 natural gas-powered trucks to its fleet and plans to upgrade and expand all of its 13 companyowned public-access compressed natural gas stations.
This technology takes 20 percent less space and can be installed faster than traditional facilities. The separate components must be installed on the site and offer the potential to significantly reduce capital cost and construction time. The fueling station in a box is also safer according to officials.
“The Inland Empire has the worst air quality in the nation,” said Mayor Loveridge. “That’s why this is so important.”
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