Alagasco has expanded their natural gas fleet to 29 vehicles, up from seven in December 2009, and is planning on further expansion to 400 compressed natural gas vehicles (CNG) vehicles within five years. That’s quite an investment and just goes to show the popularity that natural gas vehicles are experiencing.
A key takeaway from the article is that while Alagasco is expanding its natural gas fleet, they are also planning to build nine fueling stations across its service territory in Alabama over the next 2½ years. The refueling infrastructure has always been one of the key issues with natural gas vehicles, so this is good news. Two of the refueling stations are scheduled for completion by year’s end. The costs involved in the building of a station range from $400,000 for smaller stations to more than $1 million for those able to handle larger fleets.
Bob Strickland, Alagasco’s manager of clean transportation, said Alagasco is teaming with municipalities and private parties interested in adding to their fleets of CNG vehicles or in building natural gas fueling stations. Bob also chairs the Southeastern States NGV Corridor Committee, a coalition working to build a network of CNG fueling stations across the Southeast.
Bob also has a great quote in the story: “There are more than 10 million natural gas vehicles worldwide, but only about 120,000 in the U.S. What is interesting is that many of the foreign countries that sell us oil are running their vehicles on natural gas because they want to sell their oil to us instead of using it themselves.”
That is interesting, indeed.
Thanks to Paula for sending over this great story from the Birmingham News. There’s more there and it’s worth a read.