How far can you travel with a full tank of compressed natural gas?

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An increasing number of companies are looking for solutions that will help them break free from their dependence on gasoline or diesel. Among the available options, switching to CNG (compressed natural gas) vehicles is arguably one of the most sensible. After all, there are many advantages to this alternative fuel.

However, there are legitimate questions to be asked about some of the features of CNG vehicles before making the decision to switch from traditional fuels. For example, some people are concerned about the range of compressed natural gas vehicles. Well, here’s some reassurance for them!

What does a full tank mean when it comes to CNG?

Since natural gas contains a little less energy by volume than diesel or gasoline, it must first be compressed to more than 3000 psi in order to store the energy needed to travel the same distance. In vehicles, CNG is stored in high pressure cylinders made of extremely resistant materials.

While a traditional fuel tank such as the one for gasoline and diesel is usually expressed in litres or gallons, a compressed natural gas tank is calculated by weight, in kilograms.  For easy comparison, the LDE (litre of diesel equivalent) is convenient to use.

Factors that influence the distance that can be covered with a full tank

Under ideal conditions, the range of a compressed natural gas vehicle can be more than 800 km. However, as with other types of fuels, there are several factors that can influence the amount consumed to travel a certain distance.

Of those that have the greatest impact on the distance that can be covered with a full tank, storage capacity is naturally the most important. In addition to this figure, there is the weight of the vehicle and the load carried, its engine, its displacement, the speed at which the engine is running and the driver’s behaviour, to name but a few.

Understanding your needs is more important than a high range

Sometimes, choosing lower on-board storage capacity and more frequent CNG fueling can reduce initial costs and increase the cost-effectiveness of switching to compressed natural gas. For this reason, it is better to choose the range that will best meet your operational needs.

For example, compressed natural gas buses can operate for a full day, even with a smaller tank than those typically installed on heavy trucks. Once back in the garage after their circuit, they can be refueled and ready to go back on the road.

Discuss your distance needs with EBI specialists

In conclusion, as with gasoline and diesel, the distance that can be covered with a full tank will vary according to different factors. However, under certain conditions, CNG vehicles were able to travel more than 800 km before needing to be refueled.

Why not share your vehicle range needs with EBI experts before switching to compressed natural gas? As leaders in CNG vehicles, EBI’s team will be able to offer you tailor-made solutions. Don’t hesitate to contact us!