Natural gas is a clean-burning, safe fuel that can save you money while benefiting the environment. Natural gas vehicles (NGVs) look and work like conventional gasoline vehicles with the same performance characteristics, which has led many companies to switch to NGVs for their fleets. However, natural gas has significantly different storage and delivery requirements than gasoline, leaving many fleet managers pondering how to properly modify their facilities for natural gas vehicles.
If you’re considering natural gas for your vehicles, you may have just started doing some preliminary research or you may have already done extensive analysis. You may have first considered the fuel cost savings and environmental benefits. If you still have some concerns, here are four of the more common questions fleet managers and fleet maintenance managers ask about their natural gas vehicle maintenance facilities.
1. How much does it cost?
Some entities may have an inclination to over-engineer or design a facility beyond code requirements. On the surface, it may seem to safeguard your facilities from future code changes, however, the up front cost may be higher than necessary. Ideally, implementing the most cost-effective natural gas vehicle solutions that are value engineering based will help you meet your ROI faster. Working with an experienced provider and staying within the required compliance codes will eliminate unnecessary expenditures.
2. Do I have to upgrade or can I just continue to use my current diesel fuel maintenance facilities?
The simple answer: yes, you must upgrade. All natural gas maintenance facilities and repair garages must comply with applicable codes, which are significantly different than facilities that were designed and built for traditionally fueled vehicles.
3. What if the vehicle is only being serviced indoors for a short amount of time?
It does not matter how long your vehicles are indoors. There are no minimum time waivers for code-compliant facilities when working on NGVs. Inadequate code compliance is a safety hazard and is never acceptable. All NGV maintenance garages must be 100% code compliant prior to servicing any natural gas vehicles.
4. Can we just work on our vehicles outside?
You may be able to work on your vehicles outdoors during certain times of the year in many parts of the country, but not everywhere. Even when you can work on your vehicles outside, weather can sometimes prevent you from servicing your vehicles when it’s needed the most. Your indoor maintenance facilities must always be compliant and ready to accept vehicles in need of work.
ET Environmental has completed more than 150 compressed natural gas facilities nationwide and also in Canada. Our trained, experienced staff will gladly and promptly answer all of your questions. Feel free to contact us about your natural gas maintenance facilities. We can then show you how to make your facilities compliant if you are ready to make the switch to natural gas.