From Field to Ford
Throughout the 19th century, the use of natural gas remained localized because there was no way to transport large quantities of gas over long distances. In 1890, the invention of a leak-proof pipeline coupling made it possible to transport gas miles from the source. Improvements in pipeline technology continued over the next two decades until long-distance gas transmission became practical. From 1927 to 1931, laborers constructed more than 10 major natural gas transmission systems in the United States, making natural gas a viable energy source for many applications. The oil shortages of the late 1960s and early 1970s brought renewed interest in natural gas as a fuel source, especially for automobiles.
Today, owners of natural-gas vehicles can fill up their cars at one of 1,300 fueling stations located in the United States. Honda also offers a personal natural gas pump to people who purchase its natural-gas-powered Civic. The pump uses a home's existing natural gas lines and can be installed for $500 to $1500.
In the next section we'll discuss how natural-gas vehicles are designed.