Monday, November 25, 2013

LNG Says, "Hellooooo Cleveland!"

Last week, Cleveland's city council decided to purchase 240 new LNG powered buses for its citywide transportation fleet.  (OK, so Spinal Tap has nothing to do with this, but how can you resist one of the top ten lines from cinematic history - especially with Bo Diddley giving instructions?).  The city's total fleet is 415 buses, and the new natgas vehicles will be phased in over four years.

In moving to natural gas, the city made several important observations:

  • Natural gas prices are less volatile than diesel (who could have imagined saying that five years ago?).
  • LNG buses are more efficient (5-6 MPG vs. 2 MPG for diesel).
  • Natural gas is cheaper than diesel (~$1.29/ gallon equivalent vs/ $3.05 for diesel).
  • Natural gas buses emit 30% less greenhouse gas and 85% less nitrous oxide than diesel.

At $472,000 a pop, the buses themselves cost 11% more than diesel buses, but the city expects to recoup that in savings within two years.

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