Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today displayed four dual-fuel prototype natural gas vehicles (NGVs) that will be introduced to the California public at the Santa Monica AltCar Expo on September 20-21. A BMW X3, Chrysler 300C, Honda CR-V and Hyundai Sonata have been engineered to run on natural gas or gasoline.
“We hope these groundbreaking NGVs will excite consumers and create meaningful discussion among energy policymakers and auto manufacturers about the economic and environmental benefits of clean natural gas as a fuel for consumer vehicles,” said Dennis Arriola, president and chief operating officer for SoCalGas. “SoCalGas is excited to unveil these vehicles to Southern California consumers. Together with our national partners, we want people to think about a future where not only buses, refuse haulers and trucks are fueled by natural gas, but where individuals can also own a personal NGV that’s good for the environment and for their wallet.”
The BMW, Chrysler, Honda and Hyundai demonstration vehicles represent a diverse group of manufacturers and are part of an array of six dual-fuel NGVs. The vehicles demonstrate how existing automotive technology can economically add low-cost domestic natural gas to power consumer vehicles without compromising convenience or performance. Two other vehicles, a Ford Mustang and GMC Acadia are also planned to be brought to California in the future.
“Natural gas has a proven track record as a clean fuel in a wide range of vehicle types,” said Dr. Joseph Lyou, President and CEO of the Coalition for Clean Air and an SCAQMD board member. “These consumer concept vehicles have the potential to accelerate the use of clean alternative fuels, such as natural gas, to help us meet our clean air goals in the Southland.”
“We believe consumers will be excited by the possibility of using natural gas to power the vehicles they love,” said Marty Durbin, president & CEO of America’s Natural Gas Alliance (ANGA). “Natural gas is a clean, abundant, and domestic fuel that allows drivers to reduce their fuel costs without sacrificing style or performance.”
Developed for the Add Natural Gas campaign, a collaboration between ANGA and the American Gas Association (AGA), the six vehicles were modified by engineering service providers and natural gas up-fitters to run on natural gas or gasoline. The vehicles employ dual-fuel powertrains that can transition seamlessly between gasoline and natural gas, as demanded by driving conditions and fuel levels.
The Add Natural Gas campaign will also highlight a potential role for natural gas home refueling appliances, which connect to a home’s existing natural gas line. Such appliances would make NGV ownership more convenient and reliable for consumers by improving access to refueling infrastructure.
Presented by the city of Santa Monica, the AltCar Fleet Conference and Expo is recognized as the leading forum for presentations and demonstrations of the latest advancements in alternative technology vehicles and transportation, urban planning, energy efficiency and carbon footprint reduction education in the country.
Following their presentation at the AltCar Expo, the vehicles will be available at various events around the country to raise awareness about this clean-fuel technology. They will be on public display at the Kern County Fair on September 22-23.
More information on the cars, including spec sheets and other multimedia resources is on the web at www.addnaturalgas.com. For more information on the SoCalGas NGV program, visit socalgas.com (search “INNOVATION”).
About Southern California Gas Co.
Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 20.9 million consumers connected through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).