Dublin Converts Part Of City Fleet To Compressed Natural Gas

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A new Compressed Natural Gas fueling station in Dublin will fuel 44 city vehicles being converted from gas to CNG.(Photo: Marilyn Smith, WOSU News)
A new Compressed Natural Gas fueling station in Dublin will fuel 44 city vehicles being converted from gas to CNG.(Photo: Marilyn Smith, WOSU News)

Dublin is among a number of Central Ohio cities converting part of  its motor fleet to Compressed Natural Gas.

The city of Dublin received nearly $2-million from the federal government and private industry to convert 44 of its cars and trucks and install four CNG or Compressed Natural Gas pumps.

Fleet Manager Darryl Syler predicts savings could be substantial.

“I think within this initial six months left in the year, we could see between 25 to 30-thousand dollars savings.”

The installation of the CNG pumps solves the city’s biggest, potential problem: lack of driving range for its cars and trucks.

“Our best look at it right now is about 270 miles.” Question: “And that covers the city of Dublin?” “Absolutely, absolutely.”

Michelle Crandall heads Dublin’s Administrative Service. She says fueling part of the city’s fleet with natural gas just makes sense.

“Our average vehicle travels between 4500 and 5,000 (miles) per year. So we’re not making long trips with our vehicles which really makes CNG another good reason for it to fit for the city of Dublin and what we have to do on a daily basis.

And Crandall says natural gas is as fast and as easy to pump as gasoline.

“Here’s the nozzle that’s attached pneumatically to the tank. Once you hear it click in pull up on this and it dispenses the fuel. And you can feel some definite pressure in the line with the GNC coming through.”

Fleet manager Syler says at current prices, compressed natural gas cost about half as much as gasoline. It will also reduce the city’s carbon footprint because emissions from CNG fueled vehicles emit smaller amounts of greenhouse gases. He predicts Dublin will retrofit other city vehicles like school buses to run on natural gas in the future.

Terry Flemming of the Ohio Petroleum Industry agrees it makes sense for smaller cities to use natural gas, especially when vehicles can refuel on site. He predicts, though, gasoline will be the fuel of choice for a very long time.

“Gasoline will still be the predominant fuel for my lifetime, my children and grandchildrens’ lifetime.”

The Dublin Compressed Natural Gas refueling station is open to corporate fleets and the public. Columbus and Franklin County also have CNG refueling stations.

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