When some city vehicles fill up in Dublin, what goes in the tank is not gasoline but compressed natural gas.
About a tenth of the city’s fleet uses CNG, thanks to grants from the Department of Energy and the Dublin-based gas supplier IGS Energy. The grants enabled Dublin to buy 41 new vehicles that run on compressed natural gas, and also allowed it to build the fueling station -- altogether a $4 million investment.
Dublin Fleet Manager Darryl Syler said that he sees CNG as a money-saver.
“CNG at the pump here is $1.99 per gasoline gallon equivalent,” Syler said.
Syler also said that CNG helped the environment by reducing harmful emissions by up to 90 percent.
The gas comes through a pipeline to the adjoining plant, where it is compressed.
The city is encouraging others to use the facility as well.
So far, the city has had 15 customers, including residents and companies like Stanley Steemer.
“So far, it handles great,” said Stephen Magora, a Stanley Steemer quality technician.
Magora said that the company plans to use the CNG-powered engine to run its carpet cleaning equipment and is so pleased by test results, that it will start using the vehicles for service calls next week.
Syler said that within the next 10 years, the CNG will grow as more cheap gas becomes available from shale.
“It has been around for well over 35, 40 years,” Syler said. “It’s just now that the technology is so great, it enables everyone to feel a bit better at east about driving them.”
Syler said that within five years, he expected that 60 percent of Dublin’s city fleet would run on CNG.
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