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First Natural Gas Car

As of 2009, there were over 11 million compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles worldwide. Natural gas vehicles (NGV) are one of the best kept secrets except in the U. S., Brazil and India which are trying to spread the word about this cleaner burning fossil fuel. Billionaire T. Boone Pickens is also trying to do his part.

First Natural Gas Car

The history of the first natural gas car is not as clear cut as many of the other vehicles upon these pages. Scientists, engineers and tinkerers worldwide experimented with many kinds of alternative fuels for centuries.

It is most likely that the first CNG or NGV car was invented by someone also experimenting with hydrogen, gasoline or biofuels. What is known is that in the 1930's in the U. S. there were indeed natural gas vehicles running. Some of these same vehicles also used manufactured gas as well.

After World War II, crude oil expansion drove down the use of NGV's in the U. S., but in Europe there was increased interest and use of the vehicles. The use of the first natural gas vehicles never did totally die out in the U. S., though.

Just as garage tinkerers most likely converted the first gasoline or diesel engines to run on natural gas or other alternative fuels, this movement has continued until today. In fact, there are company who will do this for a fee or even Honda sells a CNG vehicle commercially.

Many buses in California, where emission standards are the strictest in the country also run on CNG.