Freedom CNG has opened its third Houston-area compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station in the new Pinto Business Park on the north side of the city, serving private and public sector fleets. The new station, open 24 hours, also will fuel METRO’s new fleet of 50 compressed natural gas-powered transit buses.
Houston is home to 15 CNG fueling stations, three of which are owned and operated by Freedom CNG including its newest north Houston station. The company also services fleets from its compressed natural gas fueling stations in southeast Houston at 6002 Debbielou Gardens Drive and in northwest Houston at 7155 High Life Drive.
About 2,000 vehicles fueled by CNG currently operate on Houston roadways, around two percent of all short-haul diesel vehicles in the area, according to Bill Winters of Freedom CNG.
“When it comes to encouraging the adoption of compressed natural gas for local fleet vehicles, we’ve barely scratched the surface,” says Winters. “There’s a strong argument to be made for compressed natural gas both from an environmental and economic point of view.”
Compared to their diesel fuel counterparts, compressed natural gas-fueled vehicles produce 20 percent less carbon dioxide and 70 percent less carbon monoxide, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Plus, exhaust from diesel-fueled trucks includes more than 40 substances listed by the EPA as hazardous pollutants. Replacing short-haul diesel vehicles with compressed natural gas over time can reduce nitrogen emissions by up to 50,000 tons per year, which will help the City of Houston achieve ozone attainment.
Besides the environmental benefits, grants from the Houston-Galveston Area Council allow fleet owners to recover up to 75 percent of the cost to purchase an alternative fuel vehicle. Grants from the Texas Emissions Reduction Program and the Emissions Reduction Incentive Grants Program also are available.
Plus, compressed natural gas prices have remained flat for the last three years creating far greater pricing predictability for fleet managers.
“Ultimately, opening more fueling stations is critical to convincing fleet owners to adopt compressed natural gas to replace their diesel trucks,” adds Winters. “Once they are confident that their trucks can access fueling stations around town, then CNG adoption will accelerate significantly.”
Texas ranks third in the nation with 79 public compressed natural gas fueling stations, trailing only California and Oklahoma according to the United States Department of Energy.
(Source: Freedom CNG)