Sticker Shock with Natural Gas

Natural gas vehicles have been generating buzz among fleets. But that quiets down for some of them upon seeing the investment required, which can run up to a few million dollars for a fueling station and modifying maintenance shops and vehicles.

 

Here’s the cost to upgrade to biodiesel blends or renewable diesel: $0. No vehicle or fuel infrastructure modifications are needed.

The biggest expense with natural gas is building a new fueling station, which most fleets put in themselves because of the lack of retail options. Here are potential equipment costs for a time-fill CNG station for fleets that fuel overnight at a central location. This does not take into account costs like land, engineering, vehicle and shop modifications or ongoing expenses. 

 

Gas Supply
+
Gas Dryer, $155,000
+
Buffer Storage Tank

GAS SUPPLY

Line necessary to bring gas to station.

 

GAS DRYER

Removes moisture from gas prior to compression.

 

BUFFER STORAGE TANK

Helps keep the compressor from turning off and on and to top off vehicles.

+
 
Compressors, $500,000 For 2 Compressors
+
Generator, $150,000
+
Dual-Host Post, $137,500 for 25 Posts

COMPRESSORS

Compresses inlet gas to the pressure necessary for filling a vehicle. Best practice is to have multiple compressors.

 

GENERATOR

Used to run the compressor and auxiliary equipment in the event of a power outage.

 

DUAL-HOST POST

Vehicles fill from the post, typically overnight. A medium-sized station needs 10–40 posts. Estimated at $5,500 per post.

+
 
Installation, $677,625 65% of Equipment Costs

INSTALLATION

Includes expenses associated with laying concrete, trenching, ductwork, plumbing, electrical connection and upgrades, and material shipping.

 
TOTAL COST=
 

Total, $1.7 Million*

 



$0

The easy, low-cost transition is only one of the many benefits of biodiesel. To learn more about biodiesel's financial, performance and environmental advantages, visit regi.com/REG-9000Biodiesel.

 

*$1.8 million in 2019 dollars when adjusted for inflation

Source: www.nrel.gov/docs/fy14osti/62421.pdf. Costs vary depending on many factors. Figures in this graphic are primarily the median equipment cost in the report.

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