Charlotte-based Piedmont Natural Gas is preparing for greater consumer use of natural gas-fueled vehicles as U.S. automakers respond to low fuel prices.
General Motors and Chrysler said this week they will offer light trucks that run on both compressed natural gas and gasoline. Honda already makes a CNG-fueled Civic.
Drilling into shale formations has expanded domestic reserves and lowered natural gas prices. While bi-fuel vehicles cost more - about $12,000 more for Chrysler's truck, USA Today reports - fuel savings are expected to offset the higher price tag.
Natural gas vehicles are "moving toward a tipping point," said Ken Valentine, Piedmont's vice president of business development and technology services. Piedmont has converted 115 of its 900 fleet vehicles to run on compressed gas and set a goal of converting about one-third of its fleet.
Read more at The Charlotte Observer.