Posted at: 09/11/2012 6:33 PM
Updated at: 09/11/2012 6:40 PM
By: Gordon Severson
Meeting Discusses Benefits of Natural Gas Vehicles
(ABC 6 News) -- A fuel source that's getting more attention these days, natural gas.
On Tuesday Kwik Trip announced that it will offer it at a handful of locations in our area.
"It's the only alternative fuel that we found that can really stand on its own two legs. Based on the economic piece, the environmental piece and then the price point," Kwik Trip Superintendent of Alternative Fuels Joel Hirschboeck says.
During Tuesday's informational meeting, Kwik Trip's officials announced the company's plan to create natural gas stations.
Adding locations in Rochester and Owatonna this November and one in Albert Lea next Spring.
"It's here, it's in the United States. It's putting jobs back into America instead of buying foreign oils. You're now spending your money back in the USA," Hirschboeck says.
It's also cheaper with the average cost of diesel sitting around $4.00 a gallon and gasoline sitting at $3.89.
The equivalent amount of natural gas will only run you about $1.50.
It's enough to inspire dozens of local companies to give it a try.
"We've got all this natural gas reserves, why not take advantage of them?" says Bob Nuss.
Bob Nuss, owner of Nuss Trucking and Equipment, calls natural gas the future of trucking.
With the ability to save companies hundreds of dollars per tank, usage will only go up.
But before things can grow, companies need gas stations to step up.
"You can't buy a truck if you can't get gas. To put a station in your own fleet would probably be a million dollar investment plus," Nuss explains.
Right now most of the growth is in commercial vehicles like semi's or garbage trucks, but everyday consumers can also make the switch.
Various makes and models like the F-250 can be modified to run on natural gas.
A change more Americans are expected to make in the coming years.
Experts say there are some drawbacks to using natural gas.
The initial investment to switch over engine can be very costly. Plus there's a lot more maintenance on spark plugs and intakes.
However, natural gas is easier on your engine and is much better for the environment.