Is compressed natural gas available at all fueling stations?

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With alternative fuels rising in popularity, several new types of vehicles with lower-emission engines have emerged and are now part of the Quebec car population. Ethanol, propane and natural gas for vehicles are now available at gas stations open to the general public.

But is compressed natural gas for vehicles available at all fueling stations?

Differences between fueling with petrol and CNG

When it comes to CNG, it is worth mentioning that unlike traditional fuels, which are available in liquid form, CNG is sold in gaseous form, which requires different infrastructures to store it and refuel with it.

CNG fueling pumps and nozzles are therefore designed differently from those used for gasoline, diesel and ethanol since compressed natural gas must be stored at a constant pressure.

Currently, the interest of transporters and even the general public in clean and cost-effective fuels is causing the network of stations in Quebec to grow steadily, while many stations can already be found in the United States.

A prerequisite for the installation of CNG fueling stations

Conventional fuels and even liquefied natural gas (LNG) can be easily transported in tankers, which allows traditional fueling stations to be supplied when their reserves are low.

With compressed natural gas for vehicles, truck transportation is not as common since the tanks used to transport it must be able to withstand high pressures. For this reason, the majority of CNG stations currently located in Quebec are located in areas that can be serviced by the underground natural gas network. Natural gas from the distribution system is pressurized directly on site and stored until it needs to be used.

This constraint makes it difficult to set up compressed natural gas fueling stations in remote areas where the gas network is still not in place.

The 2 types of CNG fueling stations for vehicles

An important feature of CNG fueling stations is that they fall into two different categories: fast filling stations and slow filling stations.

Fast filling

CNG fuelling stations in Quebec offer rapid filling that allows you to fill up with compressed natural gas in the same time frame as a full tank of diesel.

Slow filling

More often installed directly at CNG truck carriers, slow filling stations have no storage tank. However, it takes between 8 to 12 hours to refuel in this type of installation.

EBI’s network of CNG fueling stations

In conclusion, due to the required infrastructure and the need to be supplied by an underground gas network, it is not yet possible to find compressed natural gas at all fueling stations.

However, CNG is on the rise and an increasing number of stations offering the clean and cost-effective fuel are being set up on Quebec highways, thanks in part to our commitment to promote this green fuel. At EBI, we are proud to be considered the Canadian leader in this field, with six public CNG fueling stations in the province soon to be established.

Contact us to find out more about how you can switch to compressed natural gas for vehicles.