So, when you drive with Natural Gas you know exactly what it means to be running on fumes; and let me tell you, when the fueling stations are spread out as far as they have been on occasion, Cindy and I have often worried that we are running on the fumes of the fumes… Whew.
But, you’d be so impressed by the spirit, the authentic American spirit, of all those people around the country who either drive on the fumes or are working to provide them for us crazy drivers. These are people who do it because they love the country; and hate foreign oil dependency; and are willing to put their butts on the line in support of an energy independentAmerica. They are pioneers in the laboratory of American invention and genius; the old kind of genius; the kind that comes from “doing it” and not from “talking about it”.
Anyhow, speaking about pioneers, Cindy and I were doing a media event at a station inSt. Louisand along comes this guy filling his Chevy Cavalier; not a fleet car, just a car that he got on sale. Why NGV we asked? “I like my $12/week fueling bill and I feel good about how clean the car is.” Enough said. We figure he drives about 200 miles a week on that $12 bucks or so; at $1.20/gge (gasoline gallon equivalent) at the awesome Laclede CNG station.
And then, there was the guy inMidland, Tx. (picture below) who pulled up to fuel his NGV 18-wheeler; he was hauling oil. Word Up, as the kids would say.
Driving on Fumes; Cleaner, Cheaper and A Lot More Fun; to be pioneers.
So, a little more on this Cheaper thing; since this is a key part of our message. NGV’s are Cleaner, Cheaper and A Lot More Fun…
Since we are driving with natural gas and since natural gas is so much less expensive than gasoline, our fueling cost per mile has been fantastically LOW; about 12 cents per mile or so. That means it has been 61% cheaper than it would have been if we had been using gasoline. How would it feel if you could slash more than half your gasoline costs? Pretty good, huh?
We haven’t talked much about Dick and Jack on this blog; but they are traveling along with us, doing videos, setting up the presentations to the kids, managing the website; basically doing it all. Dick and Jack are the grease that makes this trip move smoothly.
Anyhow, they are driving a gasoline Tahoe they call Ruby. It gets better gas mileage than the Hummer; about 17.5 mpg. Even so, we calculated their cost per mile to be about 22 cents so far. This means, even with the better mileage, Dick and Jack are paying 180% more for fuel, almost twice as much as we are paying. Wow!
To make the comparison even more stark, we normalized costs per mile for fuel efficiency differences between Hummer and Ruby. On that more comparable basis; the Hummer cost per mile would be about 9 cents… or 59% less than that old fashioned Ruby…
NGV’s: Always Cleaner, Cheaper, A lot More Fun… and Now Fashionably Modern.
Murry and I have officially become sexy again. One unfortunate fact of
getting older is that you don’t generate as much attention when you’re
out in public. You might think that cute construction worker is
looking at you, but he’s really checking out your gorgeous teenage
daughter next to you.
Friends, all that changes when you’re driving a jacked up nat gas
Hummer. It’s the new sexy. Just last night we sat down to a meal of
Kansas City barbecue and watched the plate turn cold while the young
waiter talked our ears off. It all started when he spotted the Hummer
through the restaurant window and asked if we owned it. Fifteen
minutes later, we knew his life story and he was an NGV convert. I
think he would’ve gotten in the car with us if we had room for him.
People in the Midwest are friendly. As we drive down the road, folks
read the side of our car and smile. Truck drivers honk and wave. You’d
think we were Tom Selleck and Daisy Duke riding in a Chevy
convertible! The cost of gasoline is on everyone’s mind while they’re
driving. When drivers spot a patriotic Hummer with the words “Cleaner,
Cheaper and a Lot More Fun” plastered on the side, they like what they
And then there’s all the people we meet in parking lots, stores and
motels. Someone will see our car and once the questions start, they
don’t stop. Everyone wants to know how much cheaper nat gas is. As
soon as they hear that it’s $2.50 less per gallon equivalent, they
want to know where they can get an NGV, how do they fuel it, what kind
of car can they get… The come on is really strong! We’ve had to
pretend to hear our cell phone ringing so we can leave and get to our
next road stop.
I guess we loaded the deck by tarting up the Hummer in red, white and
blue. But like aging celebrities, we’re not above shameless promotion
to attract some attention. The best part is that underneath our cute
exterior, we have some seriously good ideas. And in the end, it’s the
whole package that’s sexy — Cleaner, Cheaper and A Lot More Fun!
So, we’ve been to about half the middle schools we intend to visit on this trip. All told we expect to visit with about 3500 kids talking to them about natural gas; how much there is, how it comes out of the ground, what it is used for and a whole bunch of other stuff that is on their minds.
Anyhow, one of the biggest issues on their minds is the cost of transportation; not put in so many words, but when mom and dad won’t take you to the mall, or cut back on vacation plans, or tell you that the field trip is too expensive this year; you can bet that transportation cost is front of mind. In EVERY school we visited, most recently the fabulous Dunbar Middle School in Fort Worth, kids are VERY aware of this problem; so naturally the cost of fuel for our trip comes up a lot and here is how we are answering it.
Fuel cost per mile seems the best metric for comparing fuel costs between NGV’s and gasoline fueled vehicles because it is relatively easy to measure. You can KNOW how much you’ve spent on fuel and you can KNOW how many miles you’ve gone.
So far we have driven about 1775 miles and based on our fuel costs to date, we are spending about 12 cents/mile… 12 cents… that’s right. Assuming we get about 12-13 miles per gallon in this old Hummer H3T, that would mean that our average price per gallon in gasoline terms would be about $1.50/gallon.
A Hummer H3T with the same gas mileage would be costing about 31 cents/mile; gasoline prices averaging $4.00/gallon.
Driving with gasoline would have made our fuel cost 258% higher than driving with Natural Gas. Forget THAT.
Cleaner, CHEAPER and A Lot More Fun… Did we say CHEAPER?