I’m overdue in posting this update from Jay Marks:
Some astute readers pointed out my story in The Oklahoman on Sunday about the cost of switching to compressed natural gas as a vehicle fuel did not include any information about the cost of the fuel itself. I hope to remedy that here.
For the most part, CNG sells in Oklahoma City for $1.39 a gallon of gasoline equivalent. There also are a number of Oklahoma Natural Gas locations around the area that sell CNG for 88 cents a gallon.
Each gallon, which is about 5.66 pounds of natural gas, has the same energy content as a gallon of gasoline.
Before I embarked on my CNG test drive, I tracked my driving habits for about three weeks.
I average about 50 miles a day in my 2004 Chevrolet Blazer, which works out to about 18,000 miles a year (although that figure is conservative, since it doesn’t take into account any trips or family vacations).
It takes about 1,080 gallons of gasoline to cover that distance, based on the 16.6 miles a gallon I averaged during my 18-day tracking period, at a cost of about $4,000 — based on Monday’s average price of $3.702 a gallon in Oklahoma.
CNG, on the other hand, would cost only $1,500 if all mileage is equal.
That still remains to be seen.
My test Tahoe from Okarche’s Carter Chevrolet and OEM Systems has gotten about 15 miles a gallon since I started driving it last Monday.
I expected my gas mileage to be more in line with the 16 to 21 miles a gallon promised by the manufacturer, but I can’t complain about the price.
I’ve gone 553 miles, as of my arrival at work Monday morning, while spending only $48.54 on about 38 gallons of CNG.
I would have spent about $142 for the same amount of gasoline.
That’s something to consider if you’re thinking about switching to CNG.