Athough natural gas cars are considered to be both economical and reliable, they are still proving to be a hard sell on Long Island according to New York State’s DMV, which reports that only 760 out of 2 million registered vehicles there run by natural gas. A separate survey by the Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition (from 2012), however, puts the number of cars closer to 900. In turn, only 1% of the entire US fleet of vehicles are now hydrogen-powered, with most of those used by utility companies, buses and government cars.
The main hold-back for increasing sales can be put directly to the lack of refilling stations, notes Ford, which offers more natural-gas vehicles than anyone else across the country. In fact, there are only 12 re-fueling stations currently available to the public on Long Island, with another 12 privately owned.
Ford reports that it sold 15,000 hydrogen-powered vehicles last year. The company now has a line of 8 gas-powered trucks on the market for 2014, ranging from its popular F-series pickups to small Transit Connect delivery vans and chassis for school buses and RV’s.
“We’ve seen the business effectively doubling each year,” stated Jon Coleman, fleet sustainability and technology manager for Ford Motor Co. However, he does admit that it costs between $6,000-$8,000 to have modifiers added to fuel tanks and fuel lines and unique fuel injectors for each car or truck when a customer chooses the option.