News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Metro RTA

Hennes Paynter Communications

Area Agency on Aging 10B, Inc.


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Economy and Business


Clean-fuel comes to Cleveland
Natural gas powered fleet vehicles are gaining popularity, but new infrastructure may encourage individuals to drive CNG powered cars
by WKSU's JEFF ST. CLAIR


Reporter / Host
Jeff St. Clair
 
Andrew Chiarelli sells natural gas powered Honda Civics for Motorcars Cleveland. While the clean-fuel cars have been popular for fleets, they are now becoming practical for individual owners.
Courtesy of Jeff St.Clair
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

Cheap natural gas may soon change the way we drive.  Cleveland is opening two public fueling stations next month for fleet vehicles that run on natural gas. 

WKSU’s Jeff St.Clair reports the technology may also make sense for individual owners.

Clean fuel comes to Cleveland

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (3:55)


(Click image for larger view.)

Colorful kites and blue skies greeted the small gathering Tuesday for the first annual clean-fuel motorcar expo on Cleveland’s lake shore.  The Earth Day Coalition organized the event on Whiskey Island to highlight the small but growing market in vehicles powered by fuels other than gasoline and diesel. 

Tim Lewis is general manager of Ace Taxi, one of the event sponsors.  He proudly shows off a shimmering black mini-van.  A storage cylinder bulges out of the space where luggage might go.  Lewis says it holds 11.5 gallons of CNG -- compressed natural gas. 

Ace has 20 new natural-gas powered taxis ready to hit the streets of Cleveland, with 30 more on order.  With natural gas running around $1.50 less per gallon than gasoline, Lewis says his drivers are anxious to get moving. 

“Our facility at E. 55th is going to have a public natural gas fueling station.  So our guys will be able to use it and other companies around the area will be able to use that fueling station.” 

Ace Taxi built the fueling station with partner Clean Energy Fuels, a California-based company founded by oil-man T. Boone Pickens to promote domestic energy production.

Clean Energy spokesman Cory White says in the last two years, lower natural gas prices caused a surge in natural-gas powered vehicles.

“And that’s because of the resurgence of fracking and finding natural gas reserves that we’ve never seen.”   

Clean Energy opened a natural-gas fueling station in Canton this summer, and will soon open two more in Cleveland. Another company operates four stations in central Ohio.

But some people have been driving the cleaner fuel cars years before this infrastructure was built. 

“Some of the sisters were afraid to ride in the natural gas cars, they were afraid they would explode.”

Sister Mary Schrader says the Sisters of St. Joseph in Cleveland at one point had a dozen natural-gas powered cars. They’re now down to five, because the lack of fueling stations limited how far they could travel.

Schrader says the order installed its own natural gas fueling station about a decade ago to reduce its carbon footprint, but it hasn’t been easy.

“The refueling station that we have at the Mother House is called a slow-fill, you have to have the car there a couple of hours for it to fill up.  The ones they’re building now are fast-fills and they take about the same amount of time as if you were filling your car with gasoline.”

The Sisters of St. Joseph drive natural-gas powered Honda Civics, the only production model fitted from the factory for natural gas. All other makes currently require EPA approved retro-fits.

At the clean fuel expo at Whiskey Island, Motorcars Cleveland sales rep Andrew Chiarelli says part of his pitch for the natural-gas powered Civics is the clean in clean fuel.

Chiarelli says he breathes the exhaust of the CNG Honda for 60 seconds, a trick he says,"not to try at home."  His point is that natural gas burned in a car engine is essentially the same as the fuel you use to heat your home, or boil an egg.  There's virtually no soot, smog-producing chemicals, or Carbon Monoxide.  

Chiarelli says the two natural-gas fueling stations opening in Cleveland are going to make his job a lot easier.

“In two weeks, we’ll have infrastructure right here in downtown Cleveland at E. 55th Street and also at the airport both of those stations will be open to the public.  It will be $2.35 per gas gallon equivalent, so for about $14 you can drive this car 250 to 300 miles.  I can’t even do that in my Civic Hybrid.”

Much of the funding for the new fueling stations comes from state and federal grants as part of the Clean Cities initiative through the U.S. Department of Energy. 

 

 

Listener Comments:

At south america the convert to cng is only 800 and 1000 dollars for big cars. why 6000?


Posted by: Carlos (parma) on January 10, 2013 4:01AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Could University Circle developments ripple into East Cleveland?
Outsiders are so far off the beaten path and you all need to attend the meeting being held today 8/31/15 Cleveland Public Library, 1:00 PM. http://44112news.co...

ResponsibleOhio leader says the state is trying to set Issue 3 up for failure
Ohio suppose to believe that a group of investors were united under one cause to legalize marijuana.Once legal they all of sudden turn into 10 different compani...

Terry Pluto: U of A's new athletic director has the toughest job in town
It is a hard sell. The Students do not want to go to the football games and they do not want to pay for the program. They have a lot of student loan debt and t...

Akron considering the future of the B.F. Goodrich smokestacks
This BFGoodrich alumna says, "Thank you, Dave Lieberth!"

State creates panel to look at Ohio charter school sponsors
It is more than disturbing that charter schools, which seemed like a good idea years ago, have begun to cripple public school education.

DEVO mural in Akron is now on display downtown
The installation is not at the former site of Chili Dog Mac. CDM was one block north on the other side of Main St.

New report shows growth in white collar jobs for Northeast Ohio
Unfortunately, there are fewer jobs in comparison to the number of professionals applying for them. I have been had a full time job since June 2012. In order to...

Advocacy group: Ohio could lead in clean energy
Ohio Legislators, You are supposed to be our leaders but you're not taking us where we want to go - where we need to go!

Campaign for and against marijuana legalization begins
Cannabis legalization needs to happen as soon as possible! But not if it gives monopolies to a selected few to grow and sell the herb. Responsible Ohio's mono...

Heinen's in downtown Cleveland sponsors a contest for food entrepreneurs
Love that this took place right here! What a way to support local. Thank you Heinens! Love this quote, as a small local biz, I agree, it's big!! "To be a small...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University