Earlier this summer, we had the chance to travel to the Southern California Natural Gas Storage Facility in Playa Del Rey, California to check out some prototypes built by Carlab, a vehicle-development consulting firm. The prototypes feature a compressed Natural Gas conversion with a slight twist. Instead of converting the prototypes fully to Natural Gas, Carlab installed a smaller tank that allows the prototypes to travel between 50 to 75 miles before switching to the regular gas engine. Why? Well, Carlab is applying the idea of a range-extended electric car to CNG. By using a cheaper energy source that can be provided at home, Carlab created prototypes that can run for a short distance on CNG before switching to the gas engine for longer distances. It's the same theory applied to range-extending electric vehicles.
Autobytel's Editor-in-Chief, Michelle Naranjo, talks with the Carlab's Eric Noble about CNG and their idea for natural gas in vehicles.