Natural gas vehicles or NGVs are an alternative fuel vehicle that use natural gas as fuel rather than the typical gasoline or diesel. Other alternative vehicles include fuel cell vehicles and electric vehicles.
NGVs were first manufactured in United States during the 1930s. They were used during World War II in Europe and interest for these vehicles rose during the early 1950s. Today natural gas refueling stations are located in five provinces across Canada and are usually found in near proximity of existing retail gasoline station.
Please see GHGs for AFVs to see how greenhouse gas emissions compare, and comparing gasoline, diesel, natural gas, and electricity prices.
These lower emission vehicles are available in many types (highway tractors, transit/school buses, off-road, light). Canadian companies offer three types of engine technologies for natural gas vehicles:
|Technology||Description||Type of Vehicle|
|Spark Ignited Natural Gas Engine|| Engine in which combustion occurs when
air-fuel mixture is ignited by spark
| Medium/Heavy Duty Highway Tractor, |
| Compression Cycle Engine for
Natural Gas with Diesel Pilot ignition
| Injection of small amount diesel into engine to trigger combustion
by natural gas to achieve higher efficiency
|Heavy Duty Highway Tractor|
|Fuel Injection Conversion Kit|| Kits used to retrofit a regular gasoline engine so that
the vehicle can also operate using natural gas
|Light Duty Vehicle|
NGVs are available from North American manufacturers such as General Motors (GM) and Ford, and conversion kits are available for existing conventional cars. GM offers full-sized compressed natural gas (CNG) fuelled vans for fleet customers. Ford offers many CNG ready chassis body for aftermarket conversion. Conversion kits are commercially available from Canadian companies (energyeducation.ca has no opinion on these companies).
There are three types of natural gas fuels including compressed, liquefied, and adsorbed natural gas.