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.
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.