Posted: Mar 24, 2011 6:28 PM by Stephanie Ryan
Updated: Mar 24, 2011 6:28 PM
BATON ROUGE-- Sticker shock is the standard at gas pumps these days, but imagine paying less than $2 a gallon for gas. You can do that right here in Baton Rouge.
It's called compressed natural gas, and at stations here in Baton Rouge, the price ranges from $1.69 a gallon to $2.02 a gallon.
We hung out at CNG stations for several hours looking for someone-- anyone-- who used CNG in their cars, but we didn't have much luck. We only found one person who uses CNG.
"I normally would've spent about $45 on what I just put in here, but instead it's $22," Darryl Fefee said about filling up his company van.
The Department of Public Works is also using CNG vehicles. In the late 90s, DPW had about 80 cars and trucks running on CNG, but the fad died down and they stopped using them. Now, thanks to a federal grant, DPW has four cars, a truck, and three dump trucks that run on CNG. That saves DPW about $1,600 each year per car.
There is a downside to driving a CNG vehicle. They don't go very far on a tank of gas. Fefee's van, for example, has a smaller gas tank and only gets 100 miles on a tank of gas.
In Baton Rouge, there are four CNG stations, but only two public stations, so folks who drive CNG cars have to be careful in planning long trips.
Additionally, a car that runs on CNG is more expensive. DPW paid $27,000 with federal grant money to purchase their four CNG Honda Civics. In the end, DPW says the savings in gas will make up for the cost.
If you want to retrofit your car to run on CNG, it will cost you between $3,000 and $5,000.