Gasoline prices are heading north again with a vengeance and the US government seems to be dragging its feet on oil drilling, demand for oil is rising around the world, especially in China, several wars are going on in the middle east along with all sorts of general unrest in that region, don't you think this would be be a great time to start converting our internal combustion engines to natural gas? In the US natural gas is abundant, it burns clean and the engines we already have run on it. Why isn't everyone all over this? What am I missing?
Converting current vehicles to natural gas means installing a gas cylinder, the actual engine work is pretty minor.
Suppose a motorcycle manufacturer offered one or more natural gas powered motorcycles, not some tiny little thing, but real full size motorcycles, wouldn't you be tempted to take a look? Better still, if one of those companies could come up with a conversion for recent engines, do you think you might want to give it a try?
The EPA makes you jump through all sorts of hoops to do a conversion, the kit has to be approved, the tech doing the work has to be certified, but even with all of that, what if one of the motorcycle companies built kits for recent engines and received the proper certification then trained their techs to install the retrofits, there's a whole new market where they might find demand even in a down economy, you know, going a little outside the box instead of calling new graphics and paint a new model.
I've noticed a few companies offering conversions for trucks and they look well thought out and practical. Refueling isn't the hurdle some might imagine, home refueling is getting better and cylinder swaps are a viable alternative.
Cylinder safety, something many are concerned about, is far less of a problem than commonly believed. The video below shows some pretty harsh tests with no failures.
So again, what am I missing? Why isn't natural gas the alternative of choice? The government seems to be pushing electric but I think natural gas makes as much or more sense. Natural gas easily beats electricity in one area, once produced it's easy to store, electricity, not so much. In the very least it should be another option. So, which would you prefer? If gasoline climbs higher, would electric or natural gas be more appealing?
Resources: Image of home refueling hookup and video from NatGasCar.