Climate Impacts of CNG Trucks

This press release showed up in my news feed today:  Natural gas versus diesel: Examining the climate impacts of natural gas trucks (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2015-05/acs-ngv052015.php).  We have worked with fleets considering conversion to compressed natural gas (CNG) and have also ventured into lifecycle analysis, so I had to take a look.

The paper itself had not been published yet, but the authors found that switching big fleets of diesel vehicles to CNG may not have quite the greenhouse gas benefits that we usually hear about.  Why?  Because of energy consumption and methane (natural gas) releases during the extraction and production of natural gas.  As methane is a much more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, even small releases of methane have a large impact on the relative greenhouse gas intensity of fueling a vehicle with CNG.

Without reading the paper itself, I can’t say whether the authors’ assumptions and scenarios make sense, but the finding is very plausible, so  we will be keeping an eye on this discussion.  If you have any questions about greenhouse gas reduction or CNG as a transportation fuel, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

The Multi-State Push for Zero Emission Vehicles

Nissan LeafA coalition of northeastern states plus Oregon and California have made at least an initial commitment to put up to 3.3 million zero emissions vehicles (ZEVs) on the road by 2025.

Here’s a link to the article.

ZEVs in the program would include plug-in hybrids and electric or hydrogen fuel cell-driven vehicles. California alone has mandated that large automakers sell approximately 1.4 million ZEVs between 2018 and 2025. [Read more…]

My First Celebrity Sighting: Gone in the Blink of an Eye

Living in upstate NY, we don’t get to see many celebrities…in fact, I don’t think that I’ve EVER seen anyone remotely famous up here.  But a few weeks ago, I caught a glimpse of something that changed all of that: a Chevy Volt.  It was one of those fleeting moment things and I had to remind myself that I was driving in my car, so I probably shouldn’t crank my head completely around to catch a better look.  I guess that I knew deep down inside that someone somewhere must own a Volt, but it caught me off guard.  I haven’t seen it since, but now I know it’s out there and I’m watching. [Read more…]

Make your Diesel Car Greener with Vegetable Oil!

I should preface this posting by saying that my husband and I are car people. I grew up in a car-loving household, so it kind of figures that I would marry a car guy (who also happens to be VW technician). 

Plus side: free maintenance on my cars. Down side: nothing white in our house stays white for very long.

The husband and I currently own 5 cars between the two of us.  And yes…you read that right. This is actually kind of embarrassing, which is why I don’t normally offer this kind of information up front, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. [Read more…]