What comes first, the chicken or the egg? Back in the 80’s my company built a CNG facility and invested a substantial amount of money in CNG conversion kits to convert vehicles. This facility was located in Reno Nevada and was the only public CNG facility within the 55,000 square miles of our territory. This last year the station was decommissioned, being the person in charge of the facility, I found this disappointing, but there just wasn’t enough demand for the station to justify the expenses associated with maintaining it.
I’m sure that when my company built the facility, they imagined that if there were vehicles around that needed CNG, fuel providers would follow suit and invest in infrastructure to support those vehicles, but this just never happened. We soon found out that the vehicles we had purchased to run on CNG were limited to being kept within a 30 mile range of the filling station; not very effective when you have 55,000 square miles to cover. As vehicles began to age, they were replaced by gasoline vehicles, not only because of the available infrastructure, but because they ran so much better than the old CNG vehicles.
When the station finally shut down early this summer, me and the five people in town who had CNG vehicles felt terrible. We still hope to relocate the facility to another location in town so there can be at least one public CNG station between Salt Lake City and Sacramento, but only time will tell if this will be feasible in our current economy. At the current time there are no chickens or eggs, what a great opportunity to solve the age old question of which comes first.