Monday, August 01, 2005

NGV

With Petrol and Diesel prices showing rising it really makes sense to look for alternatives. If you are living in the Klang Valley, you might look at converting your car to run on natural gas.

This is not a new technology and has been proven in several countries with Argentina and Brazil leading in terms of the number of Natural Gas Vehicles (NGVs). At present most of the vehicles using NG in Malaysia are taxis.

Here I will discuss some of the advantages, disadvantages and future potential in Malaysia.

Advantages:
- Natural gas is much cheaper (at 63.5 sen/ litre) than either petrol or diesel.
- It is also much more environment friendly as gas burns more cleaner with less harmful emissions. All public vehicles in New Delhi, India have converted to run on natural gas.
- There is abundant supply and prices are quite stable.
- Govt. incentives. Road tax reduced - 25% for bi-fuel( use either NG and patrol or NG and diesel) and 50% for monofeul NGVs (only NG).

Disadvantages:
- High cost of converting to run on natural gas. At present in Malaysia the conversion kits costs about RM3500.
- Limited refueling stations around the country. At present a few stations are located - in Kuala Lumpur, Klang, Seremban, Johar Baru and Prai.

Looking at long queues of Taxis at KLCC and Kelana Jaya Petronas stations made me realize that it is not really feasible alternative at present.

Future Scope
- Conversion costs will definitely go down as more companies come in with more choices.
- The number of refeuling stations will increase in the future. According to a recent report, Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) plans to open 10 new NGV stations this year and 94 by the year 2010.

RELATED LINKS

- Asia Pacific Natural Gas Vehicles Association

- International Association For Natural Gas Vehicles

- Green Car Congress

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