Natural Gas Vehicles Are Beating Out Electric Vehicles for Consumers Top Pick

Consumers have been selecting natural gas vehicles over electric vehicles at a rate of two to one. By year end there will be approximately 123,600 natural gas vehicles on our nation’s road as compared to 65,500 electric vehicles. Despite the lack of marketing or fueling infrastructure for natural gas, it is now the first choice among consumers looking to alternative ways to fuel their vehicles.

The drop in natural gas prices has helped fuel the demand; beating out the more heavily marketed and federally funded electric vehicles (EVs). Four years ago President Obama unveiled his vision of 1 million plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads by the 2015 and pumped $5 billion into funding for electric cars. In February the Obama admiration proposed the tax credit for plug-in vehicle be increased from $7,500 to $10,000 and also extend the credit to other alternative vehicles like natural gas.

In response to the higher demand from motorist, Honda began showing it’s Honda Civic GX natural gas vehicle in car showrooms across the country, where previously it had only been marketed as a fleet vehicle. It is currently the only NGV sedan on the market. Honda says the marketing is paying off big for them, and sales of the vehicle are continuing to break new monthly highs. Although the choices are few for compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, it should be pointed out that conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles can be retrofitted for CNG. If natural gas is available at your home you can install a pumping station inside your garage.

CNG is safe or at least safer than gasoline, Although CNG is flammable, it has a narrow flammability range, and if released by accident it quickly disperses making it less likely to ignite than gasoline. CNG is also non-toxic, it dissipates when released and will not leak to contaminate soil and water supplies.

The natural gas used in vehicles is classified into two types compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas(LNG). According to fueleconomy.gov “eighty-seven percent of the natural gas consumed in the U.S.is also produced here; which greatly reduces are dependency on foreign imports. It is 60%-90% less polluting than traditional fuels. With 30%-40% less greenhouse gas emissions and is less expensive than gasoline. At the present time the main disadvantages of CNG vehicles is the lack of facilities available to pump the gas, fewer miles to the tank and few choice available by auto makers.

All gas vehicles depend on fossil fuel. The natural gas obtained from drilling is a fossil fuel and while no fossil fuels are considered to be renewable resources because of the millions of years needed for the earth to produce them; natural gas is primarily methane and methane gas can be produced as a renewable resource. Methane gas is currently being collected from landfills and produced from rotting vegetation and animal manure.

CNG vehicles are cheaper to operate than conventional vehicles and burn cleaner than gasoline vehicles. Electric vehicles running on electricity alone put out “0” emissions at the tail pipe, but the electricity providing that power is generated at power plants running off fossil fuels. The U.S. Department of Energy states that “PHEVs (plugin hybrid electric vehicles) and EVs (electric vehicles) typically have a well-to-wheel emissions advantage over similar conventional vehicles running on gasoline or diesel.

However, in communities that depend heavily on conventional fossil fuels for their electricity generation, PEVs (Plugin Electric Vehicles) may not demonstrate a well-to-wheel emissions benefit.”

The switch from diesel to CNG is the larger trend for cities and municipalities across the country. The U.S Department of Transportation provides grants for upgrading mass transit and many cities are already using those dollars to advance their fleets over to CNG vehicles.

The future for NGV remains uncertain; although the advantages seem clear, reduce dependency on foreign oil, cleaner energy for the environment, lower cost to fuel. The largest drawback is the lack of infrastructure for refueling. As government agencies along with private fleet owned vehicles begin to convert vehicles from gasoline to NGV the private sector will also begin to benefit from their expansion. Improvements in refueling technology and engine performance will also soon follow. It will likely be the consumers, who ultimately decide our next energy of choice.

Truck and Auto Accessories – Splash Guards

The main function of the mud flap is to keep dirt, slush and other debris from being kicked up by your truck’s tires, protecting both your truck and the windshields of the drivers behind you. Usually, people don’t pay much attention to mud flaps, but these days, the standard variety of truck and auto accessories have become yet another form of automotive self-expression.

The most iconic of these truck and car accessories characters is simply known as “The Mud Flap Girl”. We’ve all seen her before: She’s the buxom silver silhouette of a long-legged beauty lounging with one leg provocatively crossed over the other, hair blowing in the wind. Bill Zinda of Wiz Enterprises in Long Beach, California, created this famous character to promote his line of truck and auto accessories and based the character upon a famous model named Leta Laroe.

Another famous character to make an appearance on these truck and car accessories is Yosemite Sam pointing his two cartoon pistols with a caption beneath declaring, “Back Off!” or, “All Fired Up”. Other Warner Brother characters have also made appearances, such as a frightened Daffy Duck and an overly upset Tweety Bird.

These mud flap characters are so engrained in our psych that they have gone beyond truck and car accessories and began appearing in commercials together. One famous commercial created for the Superbowl in 2006 had the Mud Flap Girl and Yosemite Sam driving away in a Honda Ridgeway.

Sadly, it appears that both of these figures have been targeted by legislation, when officials in Arizona tried to pass a ban on the two icons on the grounds of political correctness (one promoting sex and the other promoting gun violence). For the time being, the legislation on these truck and auto accessories has been struck down.

As long as that law doesn’t pass, you can find quality auto accessories and mud flaps that can have anything on them from your favorite sports team logo to the picture of your dog.

Manufacturers know a good thing when they see it, and customized truck and auto accessories, such as mud flaps are big money makers. If you don’t want Yosemite Sam or the Mud Flap Girl, you can have your own mud flaps customized with whatever you want on quality materials to continue protecting your truck and showing everyone who you are at the same time.

The most popular use of custom mud flaps nowadays are for company cars. If you’ve ever been caught behind a large semi on the highway, or maybe stuck in traffic behind a moving van, you may have noticed that mud flaps are an effective advertising tool. Most companies spend a little extra in this truck and auto accessory to manipulate their vehicles to carry their company name and phone number on mud flaps.

More than mere truck and auto accessories, mud flaps can be a unique form of showing off who you are or acting as a clever bit of advertising. Never before have truck and car accessories been so interesting, versatile and amusing – while it protects!

Discount Auto Accessories Make the Grade

Everyone is trying to save money these days and trying to curb any major purchases like cars. Not creating extra expenses is the name of the game especially when it comes to vehicles. Payments can jump for not much of a car in many cases. That is why it is important to learn to find discount auto accessories.

It also helps even if you are auto repair challenged, to keep a small tool kit in the car. A pliers, screwdriver, a set of jumper cables and some fuses plus a small wrench set can get you out of a lot of jams. Even if you don’t know what to do with the tools, there may be someone around that knows what to do with the tools. Many cars are now operated as much by computer as anything else, but if your battery goes dead, having a set of jumper cables can get you on the road sooner. Make sure your tool set is what you need either inches or metric. Check to make sure you have the correct type for your particular vehicle.

The discount auto accessories industry is very competitive and there is a healthy secondary market. You can check out the local salvage yard or auto parts shop but if you need something major like a radiator, there are entire networks of salvage yards and garages that you can post what you need and they will find it for you. Then you can decide on the best deal and then the part is delivered to your door. In most cases, it is at least as cheap as having to find and remove the part yourself at some obscure salvage yard and not have the right tools. It’s a lot less messy and the part is torn up before you get it.

To make the most out of discount auto accessories, it is probably wise to get a complete manual for your vehicle. No, not that hokey booklet that passes for a manual that comes with the car, but a detailed manual that has parts, fittings, etc. This will help you get the right part yourself without having to go to a dealership and pay full retail. Sometimes you can get the part and then find someone who can put the part in. In many cases however, you will have to get a code reader and hook it to your car if you need to figure out why a certain light is on and what can be done to fix the problem.